A view from the crow’s nest

    Celebrate a new addition to the Old-Growth Forest Network at Tallmadge Woods
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    A view of the Crow’s Nest overlook. Photo by Brandon Dill.

    Fancy a spot of tea and an invigorating hike this weekend? Ox-Bow School of Art & Artists’ Residency invites the public to join them in celebrating the induction of Tallmadge Woods into the Old-Growth Forest Network at its upcoming Tea & Trails event. The event will take place on Saturday, April 27, 2024, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. along the scenic Crow’s Nest Trail.

    Tallmadge Woods, a protected nature preserve co-owned by Ox-Bow and the City of Saugatuck, will be honored for its significant ecological contribution as it joins the ranks of distinguished forests recognized by the Old-Growth Forest Network. During the event, an awards ceremony will pay tribute to Tallmadge Woods’ induction, emphasizing its vital role as a Community Forest within the Old-Growth Forest Network, joining 12 other Michigan forests.

    “Old forests stoke our curiosity about the natural world and nourish our connection to the planet,” says Nick Sanchez, Network Manager of the Old-Growth Forest Network. “We can describe some of their known values and we know that they provide outsized benefits to the communities that surround them when compared to other land uses. Old forests like the Tallmadge Woods deserve extra credit for this work and we’re honored to help communicate its importance by recognizing it in the Old-Growth Forest Network.”

    Situated near the confluence of Lake Michigan and the Kalamazoo River, Tallmadge Woods boasts a high-quality forest featuring hemlocks over 170 years old and serves as a crucial natural buffer to coastal wetlands.

    Tea & Trails promises an engaging experience for attendees, featuring an immersive walk along the Crow’s Nest Trail complemented by live music, insights from an Ottawa County Historian, and informative booths hosted by local government organizations and nonprofit partners. Zakti will provide refreshing tea, while Ox-Bow’s culinary team will offer delectable trail snacks. For those eager to explore further, campus tours will be available beyond the trails.

    Founded in 1910, Ox-Bow School of Art & Artists’ Residency has a distinguished legacy of nurturing artists and fostering creative endeavors within its 115-acre campus nestled amidst the dunes, forests, and waters of Saugatuck. Through year-round programming, Ox-Bow welcomes students, professional artists, and art enthusiasts alike, providing a vibrant environment that catalyzes artistic exploration and innovation.

    “For generations, artists at Ox-Bow have valued the Tallmadge Woods, originally bequeathed to the school by Thomas Tallmadge one the school’s earliest patrons,” said Shannon Stratton, Ox-Bow’s Executive Director, “The woods continue to provide inspiration and respite to Ox-Bow artists, our neighbors, and visitors. Recognition of the importance of these woods, their rarity and impact, helps to bring attention to the need to protect our forests for generations to come.”

    Tea & Trails serves as a testament to Ox-Bow’s commitment to both artistic excellence and environmental stewardship, exemplifying their mission to cultivate a dynamic community of artists inspired by nature and history. Tickets to the event are available at www.ox-bow.org/tea-trails.

    A full list and map of the forests may be viewed at www.oldgrowthforest.net.

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