SUMPTER TOWNSHIP, Mich. (April 26, 2016) – At least 50 students will spend Arbor Day working with Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), Wayne County Parks and The Davey Tree Expert Company learning about the environment while planting trees. The ninth graders, from Allen Academy in Detroit and Airport High School in Carleton, will gain knowledge about sustainability, the importance of trees, how to keep the water supply clean and the value of wetlands. The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, April 29 at Crosswinds Marsh Wetlands Interpretive Preserve, 27600 Haggerty Road, Sumpter Township.
Crosswinds Marsh is one of the largest and most successful wetland mitigation projects in the country. The 1000-acre nature preserve is maintained by Wayne County Parks under an agreement with the Airport Authority, making this the ideal location for this collaboration.
“Through our airport sustainability program, we consistently work to minimize our impact on the environment,” said Airport Authority CEO Thomas Naughton. “Our Arbor Day event is an opportunity to enhance conditions at Crosswinds Marsh which will benefit our air, water and community for future generations. We’re pleased to partner with Wayne County Parks, Davey Tree and two local schools for such an important initiative.”
“Arbor Day is a great opportunity to highlight the important role nature plays in improving our quality of life,” said Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans. “Our partnership with Davey Tree and the Detroit Metropolitan Airport to plant trees at
Crosswinds Marsh, not only provides local students an excellent learning experience in how to be good stewards of the environment, it also enhances the experiences of those who visit Crosswinds Marsh.”
Davey Tree will use its specialized equipment to plant large trees at Crosswinds Marsh and dig holes for the smaller trees. The company also will donate gloves and tools for planting, as well as provide literature about the importance of tree planting. The ninth graders will receive a shirt and bracelet for participating.
New picnic tables will also be installed as part of the Arbor Day festivities.
Representatives from DTW, Wayne County Parks and Davey Tree will participate in a brief program beginning at 9:30 a.m. At 9:45 a.m., students will rotate between five learning stations, followed by planting. After lunch, students will explore the park on a nature hike. Although the event is not open to the public, the park will remain open throughout the day for visitors to enjoy.
Hundreds of species of birds, fish and mammals can be spotted at Crosswinds Marsh including bald eagles, egrets, herons, muskrats, fox, coyote and whitetail deer. The park features boardwalks, hiking trails and equestrian trails.
Construction of Crosswinds Marsh began in 1991 to mitigate wetlands that would soon be disturbed at DTW during major capital improvements, including a new crosswind runway, a runway extension, a new air traffic control tower, a new access road, the McNamara Terminal and other infrastructure improvements. Soil was excavated, drains were redirected and thousands of wetland plants, such as marsh marigolds, hairy asters and water lilies were established as part of the Marsh construction. The Marsh opened as a public park in 1997 operated by Wayne County.
When Wayne County Airport Authority was established as an independent agency in 2002, it assumed the County’s obligations related to Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Willow Run Airport and Crosswinds Marsh.
Detroit Metropolitan Airport was honored with several awards for the construction of Crosswinds Marsh including the 1999 Environmental Achievement Award from Airports Council International-North America.