Black Pond Woods Wander

Difficulty: ????
Exploration Badge
Part of the SummerGame2016 Game

This weeks badge takes us to the special Black Pond Woods Nature Area behind the Leslie Science Center. The paths are not wheelchair or stroller accessible and they are generally only wide enough to walk single file. The path surface varies greatly - with lots of rocks so be sure to wear good walking shoes. For more information about the Woods including a simple map go here.

Black Pond Woods is named for a small, vernal pond whose basin was carved by receding glaciers. Tannins and humic acids from leaf litter cause the water color to be dark brown, thus giving rise to the name “Black Pond.” The water in the pond is collected entirely from rainfall that drains into the basin since there are no incoming springs or stream. The pond is, therefore, at its height in the spring and dry during summer months, effectively excluding fish from its inhospitable conditions.

Let’s start our journey by traveling to the Leslie Science Center on 1831 Traver Road Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105 | Phone 734-997-1553. The map found here may be helpful. Visit their grounds, trails, and raptor enclosures outside any day from sunrise to sunset. Park in their parking lot and look for the Project Grow Discovery Gardens over to the right. You will be exploring these gardens for gamecodes! Walk past the signage and look for a bench that will be on your left and next to purple gate. The bench is in honor of someone. Their last name is your first gamecode

Now head over to fenced in area for the gardens with the arch with plants growing on it. Look for the words along the top that start with Wise Roots. The two words in red on the sign are your next gamecode

Enter the gardens now PLEASE BE SURE TO CLOSE THE GATE BEHIND YOU - there are many critters that want to eat it ALL so they need to be kept out. The first bed on your left has a sign on it with an herb (FRESH MAKER) and a # - this is your next gamecode

Keep going and look for a bed on your RIGHT just past the pergola sitting area. This bed has another herb and # on it (this herb is really good on a baked potato w/sour cream) The herb & # are your next gamecode.

Now travel to the far back right corner and look for the bed with a vegetable and a # - this veggie is a staple of gumbo! Enter the veggie & # for your next gamceode

Next leave the garden (CLOSE THE GATE) and head towards the small apple orchard, the chicken and the bee hives (don’t get too close) area. Go up to the chickens and look for the small green sign on the right front of the chicken enclosure. It starts with “COOP Nation Project…” The last two words at the bottom of the plaque are your next gamecode:

Now locate the Black Pond Woods Park sign and start walking on the trail. Stop when you get to the post marked 2. We’re going to take the long and scenic route to the pond so at this point follow the green arrow and take the trail on the left. Walk along for a while

Now you will come up to another post (curiously unnumbered), but it has a single red arrow, pink arrow and 2 sided green arrow on the front - and it has a single green, double pink and double red arrow on the right side. We’re going to start following the red trail to the RIGHT - so follow the right red arrow on the right side of the post.Keep going until you hit another guide post (again unnumbered) - this one with a single red arrow to the left and a pink arrow point right. Go left and follow the red arrow.

Next you will come to post #8 and turn RIGHT here.You are getting closer to the pond now! You will pass post #7 with a single black arrow on it - keep going. Soon you will come upon post # 6 - again follow the black arrow right. You will eventually see the boardwalk bridge and the pond showing up on your right.

Head down the path towards the pond and the bridge. At this point you may be thinking to yourself POND?! This is just a pile of mud, with duck weed on top! Now is the time to remember what a unique pond Black Pond is - by the end of summer it is DRY (particularly when we haven’t gotten much rain all season) and that’s why there are no fish in. However, if you stand on the bridge, be very quiet and listen you will hear air and other water sounds still coming from all the mud. This is a good time to remember to come back in the spring when the pond is at it’s height!

Okay so you’re on the boardwalk bridge. Now is the time to count and calculate to get your next game code. There are wooden posts lining both sides of the bridge (they have a cable going through holes in their side). Count the # of posts on one side and then count the # of posts on the other side. Take these two numbers and add them together. The sum plus the word BRIDGE is your next gamecode - be sure to enter it numerically and not spelled out.

Next climb up the small hill, with the branch-line trail, on the other side of the bridge and when you get to the top follow the trail right. Soon you will come to post # 4 - keep going straight following the black arrow. Now be on the lookout for post # 3 - keep following the black arrow to your right and you will find that you are back at the beginning.

340 SummerGame2016 point bonus when earned

This badge has been awarded to 257 players

Game CodeDescriptionEarned On
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