Monday, December 5, 2016

Turtle Basking Structures

As part of the Traver Creek Restoration Project through the City of Ann Arbor owned Leslie Park Golf Course in 2013, a permit was submitted to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ.) To satisfy the MDEQ permit of the project, turtles were relocated to avoid  the construction. You can read more about the turtle project HERE and HERE

After the project was complete, turtle habitat was supposed to be improved. One way to do that is to install basking structures. This is a place where the turtle can lay in the sun to warm up, while also having the ability to drop quickly back into the water to escape a predator. If you ever go canoeing along the Huron River, you will see lots of turtles on fallen trees along the river banks. We are trying to replicate this type of basking area in the ponds on #8, #12 and #17.

The first step was to find some suitable branches. An opportunity came in the form of some tree trimming we were planning on doing along #11 tee. In order to frame the shot from the Championship tees, we needed to trim back some Siberian Elm (Ulmus pumila) trees. These trees are non-native and are considered a semi-invasive species.

Once we had the correct size branches, Natural Area Preservation staff started to install the structures.

Positioning the branch in the pond.

Installing lag bolts to hold the anchors.

The "Duckbill" anchor is driven into the ground.

When the drive rod is pulled out, the anchor rotates to lock into the surrounding earth.

Waders were a necessity to place the structure properly on this cold December day.

You can see one of the structures in the pond on #8.

Another basking site near Traver Road on #12.


Brian Kuehn said...

Maybe Ann Arbor should be "Turtle City", not Tree City.

John Johnson said...

The Traver Creek Restoration Project has been a great success both from an environmental aspect but also from a playability aspect at Leslie Park G.C..