Saturday, April 15, 2006

MICHIGAN NEWS: The end of a wildflower festival

The Grand Rapids Press

In wooded groves across Michigan, the forest floor each spring transforms into a brilliant carpet of white.

White is the symbol of light, signifying joy and glory. The trillium no doubt inspired joy among Jesuit priests sent to Canada to teach Christianity to the native people.

According to legend, the three white petals were used to teach them about the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and the little star-shaped green leaves behind the flower were used to explain the miracle of Christ's birth.

Good luck finding one today. White-tailed deer are devouring trillium out of existence in some areas of Michigan. An annual trillium festival at P.J. Hoffmaster Park in Muskegon, launched in 1985, was renamed Spring Blooms in the Dunes last year because few trilliums were left.

There's no festival this May; the deer took care of the wildflowers, too.

2 comments:

Sean Sexton Certified forester # 3339 said...

though this may be true a this particular state park. Trillium is still thriving all over MI. I see them all the time all up and down the coast of lake Mi and inland. I also see the rare scarlet Trillium too. In my opinion the problem with PJ Hoffmaster state park is more due to "urban sprawl". The deer have been "squeezed" between to growing communities(Grand Haven and Muskegon). Other areas where trillium is growing has remained rural.

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