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U.S. Forest Service

Eastern Region Viewing Area


Vicinity map for Bergland Native Plant and Pollinator Garden. Vicinity map for Bergland Native Plant and Pollinator Garden.

Bergland native garden site. Bergland native garden site, planting done, fall 2008. Photo by Sue Trull.

Bergland native garden and volunteer gardeners. Bergland native garden and volunteer gardeners, fall 2008. Photo by Melanie Fullman.

Bergland native garden site, flagged out. Bergland native garden site, flagged out in spring 2008. Photo by Sue Trull.

Douglas hawthorn with fireweed and sweet grass. Douglas hawthorn (Crataegus douglasii), ready to plant, with fireweed and sweet grass in the background. Photo by Susan Trull.

Bergland Cultural / Heritage Center Native Plant and Pollinator Garden

Forest: Ottawa National Forest

District: Bergland Ranger District

Description: This approximately 450 square-foot native plant and pollinator-viewing site is a work in progress. The garden was established during summer 2008, with over 35 species of local native shrubs, ferns, forbs, and grasses planted from seed, as plugs or as larger transplanted stock. The garden is on the grounds of the former Bergland Ranger District office, now operated under partnership as the Bergland Cultural/Heritage Center. A short path leads the visitor from the parking area to the garden, placed partly in shade and partly in sun near the south end of the lot, overlooking Lake Gogebic. The garden is designed to show how native plants can be used in a residential setting, to provide a way station for native pollinators, to provide a field trip venue for schoolchildren, and to provide a pleasant setting for visitors to the Center. Interpretive signs (to be installed) discuss pollinator-plant interactions. Additional species may be added in subsequent seasons.

The grounds are open at any time. The Center is staffed 3 days a week in the summer season (about May 15 through Sepember 30). Special events are also held there. The garden path connects to a trail through to the Town Park, campground, ball field, swimming beach and boat landing.

Viewing Information: Species available for viewing are listed below. Two rare species are included: Douglas hawthorn, Crataegus douglasii, which is designated Regional Forester’s Sensitive and Michigan special concern; and dwarf bilberry, Vaccinium cespitosum, which is designated Regional Forester’s Sensitive/Michigan threatened, and is the host plant for larvae of the threatened northern blue butterfly. These plants were raised from locally collected seed at the JW Toumey (Forest Service) Nursery in Watersmeet, Michigan, under permit from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Shrubs/Dwarf Shrubs/Vines

  • Bearberry
  • Blueberry species
  • Bunchberry
  • Chokecherry
  • Douglas hawthorn
  • Dwarf bilberry
  • Partridgeberry
  • Sand cherry
  • Serviceberry
  • Trailing arbutus


  • Intermediate woodfern
  • Interrupted fern
  • Maidenhair fern
  • Oak fern
  • Ostrich fern


  • Big bluestem
  • Bottlebrush
  • Little bluestem
  • Sweet grass


  • Baneberry
  • Vervain
  • Fireweed
  • Wild sarsaparilla
  • Joe-pye weed
  • Goldenrod species
  • Aster species
  • Milkweed
  • False sunflower
  • Black-eyed susan
  • Princess pine
  • Columbine
  • Hepatica

Safety First: Parking is available on the grounds. The short, flat trail to the garden poses few hazards, but there is a steep drop-off beyond the garden toward Lake Gogebic, and an active railroad track partway down the slope. Biting insects and wood or deer ticks may be present. Some plants in the garden produce poisonous fruit; do not collect any plant parts. Currently, some plants are surrounded by brush or sticks to repel deer, so be careful of sharp points. Deer repellents may periodically be sprayed on the plants as well.

Directions: The garden is located on the grounds of the former Ranger District office, on the south side of Highway M-28 about 1/4 mile west of where this highway and Highway M-64 intersect in Bergland, Michigan. The garden is at the backside of the lot, south of the buildings.

Ownership and Management: U.S. Forest Service, Ottawa National Forest, Bergland Ranger District. Contact the Ottawa National Forest at (906) 932-1330 for more information. Center and garden managed by Bergland Cultural / Heritage Center. Contact the Center on Monday-Wednesday-Friday during the summer at (906) 236-0312.

Closest Town: Bergland, Michigan.