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On The Alvar

In late September we visited Michigan's Drummond Island to see the largest remaining high quality alvar in North America. "Alvar" is a Swedish term used to describe dry grasslands found on limestone pavements. The last glacier receded from Michigan over 10,000 years ago, leaving only a very thin soil layer over limestone bedrock. The limestone bedrock is visible in some areas. The topography of alvar is flat and horizontal plates of bedrock are sometimes exposed-giving the impression of, and earning the name, “pavement” or “limestone pavement.” This area supports some unique and fragile plant and animal life. For more information on this amazing slice of the Earth check out the Nature Conservancy.

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