Grand Trunk

Grand Trunk Boat Launch | Restored

The Grand Trunk boat launch site is located at 2090 Lakeshore Drive along the southern shore of Muskegon Lake. The property is owned by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources but operated by the City of Muskegon.

The Grand Trunk site is a peninsula that has been constructed almost entirely of foundry fill. Historically, miscellaneous trash, debris, and slab wood has been dumped on the shores and in the lake surrounding the site.

Numerous restoration activities have occurred at this site over the years. These have included:

  • Clean up of trash, debris, and concrete from the site by local volunteers beginning in the mid-1990’s
  • Restoration of over 3 acres of wetlands in 2010
  • Removal of slab wood and debris in over 5 acres of the adjacent bays in 2011
  • Construction of a raingarden in 2013
Grand Trunk Boat Launch | Restoration Map

Total Area Restored (by habitat type):
Shoreline softening=2,034 linear feet
Open Water Wetland=6.26 acres
Emergent Wetland=1.76 acres
Upland Buffer=2.13 acres

Construction Facts:
$56,149 raingarden construction cost
$351,881 wetland restoration construction cost
$284,868 marine debris removal cost

Approximately 27,300 tons of fill and debris removed
68 native species planted
Over 7000 native plants installed

Construction

Post-Restoration

2019 Site Monitoring Summary

Site Summary Statistics

In 2019, three different areas at the Grand Trunk site were monitored—Areas A, B, and C. In each of these areas, fill was removed to create emergent wetlands and upland buffers. Data is reported for each site individually, though management recommendations will be similar for all of the sites.

Grand Trunk Area A:

2019 Native Mean Coefficient of Conservatism: 4.5
2019 Floristic Quality Index (FQI): 25.2
2019 Total Native Species: 37
2019 Percent Invasive Species Cover: 8%

Invasive species present:
Spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe)

Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum)
Hybrid cattail (Typha x glauca)

For more information on invasive plants and their management, CLICK HERE

Dominant native species:
Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)

Wild celery (Vallisneria americana)
Sago pondweed (Potamageton natans)
Bladderwort (Utricularia vulgaris)

For more information on native plants around Muskegon Lake, CLICK HERE

Grand Trunk Area B:

2019 Native Mean Coefficient of Conservatism: 4.4
2019 Floristic Quality Index (FQI): 26.5
2019 Total Native Species: 40
2019 Percent Invasive Species Cover: <5%

Invasive species present:
Spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe)

Hybrid cattail (Typha x glauca)
Phragmites (Phragmites australis)

For more information on invasive plants and their management, CLICK HERE

Dominant native species:
Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)

Fragrant water lily (Nymphaea odorata)
Elodea (Elodea canadensis)
Star duckweed (Lemna trisculca)

For more information on native plants around Muskegon Lake, CLICK HERE

Grand Trunk Area C:

2019 Native Mean Coefficient of Conservatism: 4.4
2019 Floristic Quality Index (FQI): 19.2
2019 Total Native Species: 19
2019 Percent Invasive Species Cover: <5%

Invasive species present:
Spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe)

Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)

For more information on invasive plants and their management, CLICK HERE

Dominant native species:
Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)

Big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii)
Yellow coneflower (Ratibida pinnata)
Switch grass (Panicum virgatum)

For more information on native plants around Muskegon Lake, CLICK HERE

Site Summary:

The ecological communities at the Grand Trunk site have shifted from emergent to submergent in many locations as a result of high water levels. Because of the layout of the site, the wetlands all have very gentle slopes, ranging from 10:1-15:1. As a result, the site is demonstrating resiliency to the increased water levels. Although the plant communities have shifted, total plant coverage is still high, and no erosion was noted at the site.

The Grand Trunk site is also well maintained by volunteer groups. This has resulted in a relatively small presence of invasive species at the site.

The upland buffer areas have become dominated by native grasses, including little bluestem, big bluestem, and switch grass. This has led to a decrease in the forb component of the site.


Native Mean C=average coefficient of conservatism (C). Each plant is assigned a “C” value, which represents the probability that a plant will occur in an undisturbed area. C values range from 0-10. Wetlands with a native mean C greater than 3.5 are considered “high quality aquatic resources” (USFWS)
FQI=Floristic Quality Inventory, which is an indication of quality of the vegetation at a given site. In general, wetlands with an FQI above 20 are considered “high quality aquatic resources” (USFWS)

Management Recommendations

Invasive species are minimally present at the site. Spotted knapweed and Phragmites should continue to be prioritized at for removal at the site. If possible with available resources, cattails should be treated to encourage a more diverse native plant community. For more information on invasive plant management, CLICK HERE.

The site should be inspected for signs of erosion throughout the growing season. One of the greatest potential threats to this site will be the disposal of debris and trash by the public. Regular volunteer cleanup events, similar to those that already take place, are expected to successfully minimize trash and debris at the site.

The site should be monitored 2-3 times per year to look for erosion and any invasive plants.