About 8 years ago we started a project we never quite finished. The program was a Nature Class for elementary students, showing the Inter-connectivity of all the critters and life in the natural world. How it takes all these delicate interconnections to have a healthy ecosystem.
The Program was based around a map of a Nature Preserve we had constructed. The Preserve had all types of critters, Birds, Plants, Tree, insects, etc., all interacting with one another to create a healthy environment. There is one small example on this map, of an unhealthy system, where some invasive species invaded the west end of the pond and although everything still looked kinda OK, it was now considered a "Dead-zone". A place where nothing natural to the area was alive. A "Mono-culture" of only a few species, and not the hundreds it takes to actually produce a healthy ecosystem.
Head over to the HM blog and download the Nature Preserve Map, and see if you can list and identify all the life there. Some are over-sized and easy to spot, while others are hiding critters, lurking in the forest. We will be doing a Game on this in the future, on identifying what is there in the Park Map. For now.......see if YOU can find and ID the life there. We will be posting the ID list in a week or so. Have Fun!
OH YA......there is nothing out of the normal in the Park. The critters, Trees and even the insects, are the most common seen in S.E.MI., so just maybe you will not even need an ID book to help list out all the life you find in the Park map.
Download the Nature Park Map Here: http://www.hikingmichigan.com/PDFinfo/NatureParkMAP.pdf