Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Good News for Wild Life

I wanted to post some positives today.

Mary showed us some photos of Urban Sprawl taking place across from her. It is sad that so much of our precious natural habitats are being used for subdivision and mini mall. I feel fortunate to live in an area that is doing something about preserving native environments. A small, but growing very quickly, town to the south of us has started a Wetland restoration and educational site.
Now, I will grant you that this area is not prime real estate as it does frequently flood. No one in their right mind would ever consider building here. (well, stranger things have happened I guess) And maybe this was a tax write off, but the important thing is wild life comes out a winner!

I am not very good at estimating acreage or hectors, but I think this site is close to 30 acres. The north edge borders the Salt Fork River and there are lots of trees. Some native broom and prairie grasses have been planted or have come back on their own. There are several different types of bird houses setting on tall poles scattered across the grounds. Hopefully, there will be more added as they progress. The picture below shows the mound they have built up to be used as a viewing area.

As you can see, it is not open yet. From what I can find out, sometime this spring or early summer is the anticipated date. There will be wetland kits available to teachers for use with their students. These will consist of a birding book, soil testers, fresh water clam identifier and written materials. Of course anyone will be welcome. I do think it is important to reach young people on many different levels to stress the importance of preserving natural lands.

One other area that is very close (2 miles south) is owned by the University of Illinois. I would suppose it is about 20 acres of totally natural woods. Occasional, we see university vehicles pared along the road and now they are in there studying wild life, trees, or something. I go there to see birds and deer, as do many others.

Even though this looks like a road, you have to walk. They have blocked the entrance. Good for them!

So, my positives are that there are programs and areas out there to preserve nature. We just have to look for them and speak out in favor of such projects!


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Oh Beckie, This is a great post. I love the postive way you have presented this project. Even though it is small it is a step in the right direction.

Patoka National Wildlife Sanctuary started out with just such a small parcel of land that was protected. It am not sure just how big it is now but people had added acres and acres of land that they deem not good for agriculture or building to the area and it is such a positive thing for our environment as well as for wildlife.

I bet you can go there and hear/see American Woodcock and Wilson's Snipe displaying later in the spring. I always look forward to this. Who knows maybe prairie chickens will come back. Wouldn't that be a dream???

Beth said...

Nice post, Beckie. I like it when people write about their positive experiences of finding nature with easy access for large groups of people. It increases the liklihood that more people will discover their affinity for nature and then work to preserve it

Cheryl said...

Great postBeckie, I am with you all the way on this one. Its so good to get positive feed back from people, no matter where we live in this great big world. I belong to a local wildlife project group. It is based in Kent, and I campaign for local habitiat and wildlife.
You portrayed it well and I really enjoyed reading it.

beckie said...

Lisa, if i see those birds, I probably won't know what they are! But will take along my handy dandy field guide.

Beth, I totally agree with you!

Cheryl, Good for you!

I am anxious for it to open and hope the local schools, senior groups and others will come and take advantage of it. Maybe we will all benefit.