Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ghost Waters first field trip: Humbug Marsh! April 24 – Join Us!

Springtime has arrived in beautiful Southeast Michigan, and it’s time for the Ghost Waters field trips to start rolling! As you know, Ghost Waters is our new three-year-long project which will awaken water consciousness, eco-awareness and eco-education in the people of Detroit and involve the community in arts and nature projects which focus on Detroit’s water usage and environment preservation efforts.

Our first field trip for Ghost Waters will be to Humbug Marsh, located along the Detroit River, just off the intersection of West Jefferson and Vreeland out in Riverview. Humbug Marsh is a 410-acre marsh and upland habitat (which includes Humbug Island, just off the shoreline in the Detroit River), and is currently the only remaining natural coastline along the Detroit River in the United States. 

This exciting field trip will take place on Saturday, April 24, 2010, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. If you’re interested in joining us for this great experience, please RSVP to Ken Srdjak at 313-967-0999 or Everyone is welcome, but space is limited!

At the end of 2004, the marshland was sold and put under the protection of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, which makes the marsh a protected habitat, preserved and maintained by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Since then, extensive protection efforts have been put into place to keep Humbug Marsh and Humbug Island natural and flourishing. 

Humbug Marsh is also the site of an important and well-loved ghost water - Monguagon Creek. The creek was mainlined into Detroit’s underground water pipe system. However, in December 2009, the city announced that Monguagon Creek had been daylighted and returned to its state as an open-air creek. Daylighting Monguagon Creek will allow the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge to reclaim and recreate six acres of wetlands. The renewed wetlands are believed to help with storm runoff too! The larger land area will help absorb more excess rain water, which will then filter more water toxins before it runs off into the Detroit River. Daylighting the creek is key to the Ghost Waters project; by daylighting this and other ghost waters, we can get back to a more natural setting and develop a deeper relationship with water and all life forms around us.

We hope to work with you, the community members, and learn collaboratively about water use and commercialization, and how daylighting the ghost waters of Detroit brings us closer to a green world and to one another.

In order to learn together, our trip to Humbug Marsh will include educational experiences: we’ll be learning about the marsh, creek and forest habitats in the nature preserve which interact with one another and bring together a beautiful community of animals and insects, from frogs to birds to fish! We’ll also be making flag fish and puppets, playing games and telling stories. 

We also hope to film some video and take some photos to add to the Internet-based metro Detroit greenmap, as well as discuss the future of Ghost Waters and ways we can continue to bring to life Detroit’s green future! 

We hope to see you there! Happy Spring!

Ken Srdjak, Matrix's volunteerator and puppetista, can be contacted at 313-967-0999 or

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