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Spotting the Invasive Coltsfoot

Education, News April 27, 2020 No Response

Coltsfoot, (Tussilago farfara) above, is the first invasive to watch out for around Glen Lake. When you see our native Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris) blooming, it’s time to scrutinize your property for coltsfoot. The bloom period of these two plants typically coincides.


The Glen Lake Association needs help finding this invasive springtime plant.

Spot Coltsfoot by looking for yellow flowers, seen below, that emerge before the leaves and open on sunny days. The flowers are similar in appearance and size to a dandelion’s, but with the addition of leafy bracts along the stem. Later in the season, after the flowers have matured, Coltsfoot can be identified by thick, fleshy, heart-shaped leaves, up to eight inches long and wide. 

Coltsfoot first invades sunny, low-lying wet areas, but is very adaptable and if left uncontrolled can spread into bright, high and dry zones quickly. It can also grow, bloom and spread in shade, though with less vigor. If left uncontrolled, Coltsfoot has the potential to completely blanket a sunny spot, decreasing biodiversity along with your property value. It threatens to invade the same habitat of our precious endangered species, the Michigan Monkey flower. If it escapes the shores of Glen Lake, Coltsfoot threatens our surrounding agricultural communities. It has proven to be an agricultural pest in the US Northeast, Midwest and Pacific Northwest as well as in southern Canadian farmland.

Throughout the coming season GLA will offer timely tips on various invasive plants to watch for on your property. When you are away or are unable to personally survey your property, perhaps a neighbor or friend could help out in your absence. Informed gardeners or property managers could also perform surveys. 

Marsh Marigold typically blooms at the same time as Coltsfoot.

As a service of the GLA, your shoreline will be surveyed for Coltsfoot if it is in the region known or suspected to be infested around Big Glen. However, we welcome your assistance in surveying any property around both Big and Little Glen Lakes. The more eyes, the better!

If you spot Coltsfoot, contact Laurel Voran at
231-632-3211 or Tricia Denton at

For more information see this site.


Shoreline Erosion on Glen Lake

Education, News April 20, 2020 No Response

Click image to link to video.

The shorelines of Glen Lake are by nature’s design, an ever-changing phenomenon. Wind and waves during periodic storm events can peel away or build up shorelines into irregular and unpredictable patterns. This natural process can be troubling for riparians who desire to “keep it as it always was.” The GLA embraces the notion that natural shorelines are the best way to preserve water quality.

The results of our 2019 shoreline survey indicate that of the 17 miles of shoreline around Big and Little Glen, 1.8 miles of shoreline have rock walls, making up 10.4% of the total. Our survey shows that 94 riparians have chosen to harden their shoreline to prevent erosion. There seems to be a growing number of riparians who are choosing rock walls.  

Artificial rock shorelines can often be the last resort for riparians to control erosion. However, other alternatives can and should be considered, some which are more “lake-friendly.”

The use of coir logs is considered a great alternative to installing rock walls. Before making plans to install a rock wall, consider coir log installations as another good solution to battle erosion. The practice is relatively new to Glen Lake riparians and only a select few contractors have the experience to perform a successful installation. Coir log installations may not be for everyone but they are well worth the time to consider.

For more information about shoreline erosion control, click here.

We welcome your questions and interest if you are thinking of solutions to shoreline erosion. 
Contact us at 231-334-7645 or by email to

GLA is Online Webinar Sponsor

Education, News April 6, 2020 No Response

GLA is pleased to announce that we are the online webinar sponsor for the 54th Annual Michigan Lakes and Streams Association Conference that was to be held this May at Crystal Mountain Resort. That event has been cancelled but the MLSA is offering free webinars featuring speakers and presentations from the conference every Friday for the next seven weeks. GLA is the exclusive sponsor of this series! 

Here’s the link for the first episode which aired last Friday on the Shoreland Stewards program. GLA is acknowledged several times during the program. You can see slides highlighting GLA participation in the Shoreland Stewardship Program (GLA is top in the state!) at around 51:30.  GLA’s Guardian Ambassador, Tricia Denton, speaks at 1:01:33.

Future episodes can be found on the MLSA website. Enjoy some good lake and stream education right from your couch!