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The West Michigan Cluster


West Michigan Cluster (WMC) of the Stewardship Network was formed in 2006 by The Nature Conservancy and the Land Conservancy of West Michigan. Representatives from environmental groups, municipalities, conservation districts, county parks, state and federal government agencies and private landowners comprise the WMC. This diverse group is successful because we partner together to carry out our common mission, as we share responsibilities, and resources.

The WMC’s goal is to teach people how to be better stewards of the land and water. We work in partnership with nature to preserve and restore original landscapes so future generations may enjoy the beauty of our natural heritage.

Our main focus in WMC is invasive plant species; specifically, our development of Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR) program. Our emphasis is on oriental bittersweet, pale or black swallow-wort and Japanese knotweed. Our next step is the formation of a Cooperative Weed Management Area (CWMA) with the US Forest Service to provide expanded services and programs for invasive species.








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Jump To:

Cluster Events

Participating Organizations

Check out our Stamp Out Invasives Brochure!

Contact the West Michigan Cluster

 Where is the West Michigan Cluster?

Kent, Ottawa, North Allegan, Muskegon, and Newaygo Counties


2014 Workshops


Newaygo County Wildlands Educational Hikes

Times:  12:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Cost: Free!

Glacial Features Fall Color Hike:  October 18, 2014 - North Country Trail, Brooks Twp.

 For additional information or if you have questions, Please contact WMC@StewardshipNetwork.org


Contemporary Issues in Forestry Management

Friday, August 8th 8:30 -12:30 pm

Cost: $15 Stewardship Network Members / $20 Non-Members 

According to the American Society of Foresters “prediction is the cornerstone on which professional sustainable forestry is built”.  Land owners, managers and forest professionals are invited to this workshop to learn what specialists have witnessed and are predicting for Michigan forests.  Participants will gain a broader understanding of complex forest issues and receive an update on how to identify current pests and their locations throughout the State and West Michigan specifically.  Participants will learn current management challenges, research and policies that affect our valued trees.  Attend and earn 4 pesticide CEUs. Click here to register!


Early Detection

                               Rapid Response


“West Michigan Cluster will work within our service area to detect new invasive species on private and public lands in an attempt to eradicate them before they are widespread, causing ecologic and economic harm.”


In 2009 the West Michigan Cluster began training volunteers to identify three new species to West Michigan and report them to the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN).  These species are: 

swallow-wort (both pale and black)

Japanese knotweed

Oriental bittersweet

This year volunteers went to the locations reported to MISIN to distribute informational door hangers about the species found on or near their property.

If you recieved one of these door hangers, please visit MISIN to learn more about these species.  If you are looking for someone to assist in treatment of these species, the following are Licensed Pesticide Applicators with experience with invasive plants:

For Small Infestations:

Enchanted Gardener (owners Deb and James Sears) debsears@enchanted-gardener.com


For Larger Infestations:

Cardno JFNew (616)-847-1680

Wildtype Nursery (517) 244-1140

Native Connections (269) 580-4765







 Contact the West Michigan Cluster

Cluster Co-coordinators for the West Michigan Cluster are Ginny Wanty (Kent County MSU Extension) and Mike Bruggink (Fen View Design). Both can be reached by email at


With Leadership From

Fen View Design

Michigan State University Extension

Participating Organizations

Ada Township Parks and Recreation

Blandford Nature Center

Calvin College Ecosystem Preserve

Cardno JFNew

Cascade Township

Dwight Lydell Chapter of Izaak Walton League

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks

Gaines Township

Grand Valley State University

Howard Christensen Nature Center

Kent Conservation District

Kent County Parks

Land Conservancy of West Michigan

Michigan Department of Natural Resources - State Parks

Michigan Garden Clubs

Michigan Nature Association

The Nature Conservancy - West MI Office

Newaygo County Volunteers EDRR

North Country Trail Association

Ottawa County Conservation District

Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission

US Forest Service - Baldwin Ranger Station

Wild Ones - River City Grand Rapids Chapter

Wittenbach/Wege Agriscience & Environmental Education Center  


We'd Love to Have You!

We would like to invite you to join our Cluster. Groups and individuals who may be interested include:
Community Service volunteers, Eagle Scouts, Master Gardeners, Conservation Stewards, field interns, people who want to connect to nature, people who want to meet with like-mnded people, and people who like getting exercise outdoors.  Let's have some fun!

© 2007 Stewardship Network Photography: Summer Tanager © Brian L. Zwiebel; others by David Mindell, Plantwise, L.L.C.