In 1992, the Gratiot County Soil Conservation District acquired a 90 acre abandoned farm from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In 1993, the District leased the property to the Gratiot-Isabella RESD to develop an outdoor education center. The RESD named the property, the Forest Hill Nature Area and in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began a major wetland restoration project.
Forest Hill is brimming with biodiversity and all it entails: succession, evolution, adaptation, wildlife and food chains. When an ecosystem is healthy, it is full of living and nonliving diversity. This diversity falters when an ecosystem suffers from pollution, industrialization and climate change
This nature trail provides a guide to what natural processes and wildlife can be found at Forest Hill. It also allows you to become a citizen scientist. You don’t need a college degree to be a scientist. Anyone can use the scientific method to study and make observations about their surroundings: whether that means discovering what’s making that strange call or investigating how an American Toad makes it’s long trill.
Scan the QR code that ring our nature trail and take part in data collection to show trends in biodiversity and change at Forest Hill 5, 10, 20 years from now and beyond. Trends show us how the earth changes through vegetation growth, warming temperatures, lowering and rising waters and fluctuating wildlife presence. Understanding these changes can help us learn to interact and support the environment in more beneficial ways.