Posts Tagged ‘outdoors’

Three things you can do to protect land during a time of social distance

Saturday, March 28th, 2020

Three things you can do to protect land during a time of social distance

Quite a lot has changed over the past couple of weeks. And while many of the events we all look forward to every year are cancelled or changing shape, our aim at UPLC is to provide ideas and encouragement through this time. We hope that many of you who are healthy and can get outside do so, and that curiosity, wonder, and enjoyment of UP recreation spaces continue to be a part of your life over the coming weeks. The UP Land Conservancy public nature preserves will remain open and be there for you as long as we are able to keep them open. Here are some ideas if you need a break into nature.

1. Go Over the River and Through the WoodsWalk or Run our 5k Trail 

Each year we host our fun-filled Over the River and Through the Woods 5k Run and Walk through the beautiful 123-acre Vielmetti-Peters Conservation Reserve. While the race this year (originally scheduled for early May) is off – we hope that doesn’t deter you from getting out and exploring this beautiful trail at your own pace! 

In fact, this article with info and tips about running during the Coronavirus Outbreak recommends that now is not the time to push yourself hard or try for personal best time.

Here is our 5k trail map if you would like to follow our route and also some inspiration photos from last year’s race 🙂 

2. Volunteer Outside through Citizen Science – Get out the Binocs, it’s Bird time! (and plant, and mammal, and even insect time! #Spring!)

As Spring comes to the UP it is a fascinating and exciting time to witness the changes that occur – from new plant life popping up to the birds returning to their breeding and nesting areas. Watching this change each year is amazing.

Last year, we wrote all about different Citizen Science projects that help UPLC take note and gain a better understanding of sightings in our area. Whether you’ve participated before or are just getting started, contributing to our collective knowledge and observations of timings can help us continue to protect and make the case for protecting land for wildlife.

Consider taking your binoculars for your next walk and contributing what you see to our iNaturalist project. If you’ve never used iNaturalist, now is a good time to play around and learn a new program.

A great place for this is at the Chocolay Bayou Nature Preserve located on Main Street in Harvey (across from the Superior Smokehouse). There are signs all along the trails of the birds you are likely to see, some information about their lives and their sounds.

Maybe citizen science-ing (or birds) aren’t quite your style right now and you just just want to get out and learn a bit. We recommend the ‘iNaturalist Missions’ (in the app) which give a list of common plants and animals you are likely to see in your area so you can find them. This one can be really fun to do with younger kids, or for older kids to do on their own. One of our staff used this to learn about different Pines in the Chocolay Bayou Preserve! 

3. Protect the Future of Outdoor Recreation in the UP,  Today

At UPLC, we feel quite fortunate to be surrounded by so much open natural space and to be part in protecting it and providing recreation opportunities alongside other community organizations. There are many ways that you can continue to support organizations like UPLC who provide recreation opportunities to our community, even though our group volunteer days are postponed for now.

Protected land and recreation opportunities in nature is more important to our community now more than ever. For many people, outdoor recreation is now a main source of sanity, health, education, and a sense of permanence and normalcy. You can support UPLC’s recreational trails through the Adopt-an-Acre program or with a simple donation, right now.

Please also consider taking this time to learn about how UPLC works closely with other organizations across the UP to provide safe outdoor recreation to the community – we are all in this together!

Check out some of our friends sites and follow them on Facebook & Instagram for local updates: 

Heart of the Lakes recently launched a “Recreation Ambassador” program, check it out at

Noquemanon Trail Network provides an immense network of multi-use trails across private and public lands – We are working closely with the NTN to create the Dead River Community Forest

The Iron Ore Heritage Trail is a great place for a long walk with an official trail ‘spur’ at the Chocolay Bayou Nature Preserve.

The North Country National Scenic Trail runs from one end of the UP to the other – Bayou trails are an official Spur (really, from New York to North Dakota – talk about social distance!)

Stay safe and enjoy the outdoors!