WINONA LAKE — Luke Hunt, a retired secondary science educator from the Whitko school district and a former adjunct professor at Grace College, led an interpretive hike at Heritage Trail, part of the Lake City Greenway.
Hunt leads a hike biannually, in the spring and fall, to interpret the varying plants, fungi and animals that can be found along the trails in the different seasons. “You’re going to see different things. Fall plants versus the spring blooms,” commented Hunt.
Before the hike Hunt talked about the water system that runs through the area, Cherry Creek. Normally one would find lots of life in the water, such as crayfish, bug larvae, leeches and worms, but the water currently has very little life in it. “I would expect to see much more,” said Hunt. “It’s not very healthy right now.”
Hunt expressed the value of a healthy and clean water system, pointing out that the water systems feed the land. “Keep the area clean, especially the water. We want something here for future generations to enjoy.”
Throughout the hike Hunt broke off twigs for participants to smell various aromas, identify leaves, and look at flowers. He also pointed out edible finds such as ginger and the “chicken of the woods” fungus that can be fried in butter like many other mushrooms.
Hunt also identified invasive and poisonous plants, those to exterminate and avoid. White snakeroot, poison ivy and garlic mustard were among those identified.