Welcome to The Friends of Greenview and Pioneer Woods Nature Areas. We are neighbors joining together to care for the wonderful park and nature area along South 7th Street and Scio Church roads in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Click here to read more about our organization and how you can contribute to support our activities.
What’s Happening Now
As the hot and humid summer gives way to cooler temperatures and shorter days, the Greenwood and Pioneer Woods Nature Area transitions in myriad ways, all habitats bowing to the inevitability of fall and winter.
In the late summer, meadows are covered by a profusion of colorful wildflowers – from the many yellow hues of Goldenrods and Rudbeckia to the purples and pinks of coneflowers and Ironweed. The wildflowers are abuzz with the hum of bees, beetles, and wasps of various shapes and sizes.
Colorful butterflies including Yellow Clouded Sulphur, Cabbage White, Monarchs and many humble skippers roam through the flowers in search of food. Look closely and among the grasses you may spot grasshoppers or a Chinese Praying Mantis with its showy green wings.
In late summer and fall tall prairie grasses dominate Greenview meadows. Airy plumes move gracefully in the wind and glow at sunset.
As part of the restoration efforts, the Friends of Greenview volunteers planted the meadows with four native tallgrass prairie species: Big Bluestem, Indiangrass, Little Bluestem and switchgrass.
Grasses are the backbone of a prairie and are a refuge for butterflies, grasshoppers, birds, reptiles, and many others that call it home.
In the fall asters emerge in the meadows; the landscape is transformed by clusters of white, blue and purple blooms.
Asters are an important food source for insects and a favorite of butterflies, particularly the migrating Monarchs.
The Greenview pond and wetland grow quieter in the fall as frogs prepare for winter hibernation. Many plant species thrive in the wet areas near the pond and canal: cattails, tall grasses, Joe-Pye weed, dogwood, willows and many sedges.
The atmosphere around the pond at this time of year is perfect for a relaxing visit to contemplate the sky and the fall colors reflected in the pond, broken only by the occasional gust of wind or the ducks gathering on the water.
Cold winter temperatures will eventually freeze the pond and it then becomes a hub of activity as the neighborhood ice skaters venture onto the ice.
Wildflower seed pods and berries standout in the landscape and provide ready food for migratory birds. The park is a popular destination for birdwatchers looking to spot our many winged visitors.
As temperatures decrease, the forest becomes radiant with vibrant autumn colors. The many nuts and acorns in the fall provide fodder for various forest denizens preparing for the winter. Black walnuts, acorns, hickory nuts and pinecones are favorites with chipmunks and squirrels.
Warm fall rains bring out a variety of mushrooms in the forest floor – look for them on tree stumps, fallen logs and among leaves and grasses; their many shapes and colors are a delight to discover.
The edible garden produced a rich crop of nuts and fruit throughout the warm season. In the fall, the Pawpaw fruit ripens along with the last crop of red raspberries. The pollinator garden in the fall features many colorful flowers like asters and Black-eyed Susan that attract insects while the days are still warm.
Gardening season comes to a close in the Community Gardens. Fall crops like squashes, potatoes, corn and pumpkins are harvested before the grounds are cleared for the winter.
As the nature area transitions into the winter months there will still be a lot of seasonal interest in the landscape and along the trails. In the meadows, look for interesting seed pods, dried flowers and grasses. Red branches of dogwoods, purple twigs of raspberries, red viburnum berries and rose hips will brighten up gray days and look beautiful when dusted with snow.