The first 20 acres of the Teichner Preserve was created when Martha Teichner donated beloved family lands to honor her parents, Hans and Miriam. The preserve has since doubled in size, and includes 200 feet of natural shoreline on Lime Lake, framed by mature cedars. A boardwalk traverses the fragile forested wetland and offers views of a vibrant and healthy ecosystem. Come spring, the sounds of birds, frogs and trees creaking in the wind fill the air, while wildflowers put on a spectacular show from the boardwalk. Tamarack, elm and a giant surviving American chestnut tree also call Teichner home.
A short (two-tenths of a mile) boardwalk crosses over wetlands and leads to a woodsy, easy trail that takes you along the shore of beautiful Lime Lake.
Martha Teichner’s initial gift kept this fragile forested wetland intact for creatures like woodcock, grouse, and turkey that call it home. Then, in 2005, more acreage became available. With Martha’s help again, along with the Jean Raymond Family, we were able to double the size of this preserve. (See story links below about the expansion and more about Martha Teichner’s love for this land.
The Preserve features an enormous elm tree and an American chestnut tree which survived the blight– unique among all Leelanau Conservancy properties. Early settlers likely planted today’s giants, while later inhabitants planted an orchard that partially remains.
The swampy lowlands here are perfect for black ash and red maple. White ash and sugar maple grow in upland areas. You can also see cottonwood clones that all leaf out at the same time and have identical bark shading and patterns. In the spring, look for clone saplings that sprout in a ring around the trunk of their mother tree. Keep an eye out for broad heart-shaped leaves of basswood trees, shaggy-barked ironwood, and the interlocking diamonds on old ash trunks. Conifers such as balsam fir and hemlock abound as well. Look for tall, lacy tamarack. This unusual pine drops yellow leaves in fall, after its little purple cones turn brown.
Scan the under story for wild rose, fuzzy white pussy toes, and the rarer fern species such as rattlesnake, interrupted, and maidenhair. Of the 13 species of rare ferns in Michigan, nine appear in Leelanau County, and many can be found in the Teichner under story. Blue flag iris also appear in the marsh. You’ll also find grass of Parnassus and bog lobelia.
A Teichner FQA and Summary is available here. It tells the story of the types and quality of flora at Teichner Preserve.