GPS 92.9176 W 45.0101 N
This location is at the Northwest end of the Brown trail Outer Loop. The trail to the West takes you to the Fire Department access point (F). The trail to the South takes you through the Oak / Maple forest, past the small pond on the West side of the trail, and to Sign 6, along the way there are two bike trail crossings, use caution. The trail to the Northwest takes you eastward and then along the powerline corridor, then back westbound on a longer route to Sign 6, also with two bike trail crossings.
Stop #7 It’s All Wet
Wetlands are a critical component to keeping all ecosystems healthy. The northern section of Sunfish Lake that is in the park is relatively shallow and classified as a freshwater emergent wetland with a shallow marsh plant community. To qualify as a wetland, the area must have hydric soils (soils low in oxygen due to being wet), plants that have adapted to low-oxygenated soils, and saturation with water or at least seasonal flooding. Wetlands act like sponges, storing water during times of high precipitation thus preventing flooding. Wetlands play an important role in maintaining healthy levels of chemicals in the atmosphere and are full of microbes that serve to filter and purify the water. With the numerous types of plants that grow both on the shoreline and underwater, they provide habitat for many different types of plants and animals including fish, insects, muskrats, and a huge variety of migratory bird species. Humans have a huge impact on water quality through the various activities and changes they make to the landscape. Historically, many wetlands were drained for cropland and filled for housing and urban development but they are now protected by law.