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Winter-Spring 2005 Newsletter

Fording the Stream

Fall Walks and Falling Trees

Rediscovering The Lost Trail

Holliday Nature Preserve Update

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Several of the Ford volunteers who rebuilt the bridge.

Fording The Stream

In our last edition, it was mentioned that a footbridge that had been built and installed by Ford Motor Company volunteers had washed away in one of the floods in mid-2004. The remains of the old bridge was found about 1/2 mile downstream, evidence of the force of the Rouge.

Well, Ford volunteers came back in force on October 21, loaded with heavy timber and power tools. The plan to retrieve the lost foot bridge was tossed. A new plan called for the stairwell to be repaired and a new bridge to be built over a different stream location.

HNPA President Bill Craig checked out the work with Carol Clements, Park’s Naturalist. The volunteers made darn sure this bridge was solid and would stay in place for a long time. A lot of hard work was done that day by the volunteers. More importantly, quality work was done, to the credit of the professionals that did it.

The HNPA certainly thanks the Ford volunteers Joe Black, (J.E.); John Lee, (J.P.); Mick McGee, (M.J.); Kevin McClafferty, (K.M.); Reid Schornack, (R.D.); Michael Ross, (M.A.); Jerry Arzooyan, (J.J.); Jesse Brunais, (J.); Loren Anderson, (L.); and Daniel Ballnik, (D.C.) for making the Ellsworth Trail an easier and safer walk.

Bill reports, tongue in cheek, that he would like to retrieve that first traveling bridge “before it gets all the way down to the Detroit River.”

River's Power Washes Away A Bridge

The original bridge as the waters rose. The same stream (minus the bridge) when the waters finally receded.

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Fall Walks and Falling Trees

HNPA President Bill Craig thanks Dorothy and Kathy and Dave Goodman for joining him on the fall walks.

He reports that there are a number of deer in the Preserve and although it’s not often visitors see them, this time three put in an appearance. They also reported seeing several deer rubs. (A deer rub is an area of a small tree where a section of the bark has been worn away by a buck rubbing its antlers against that section.)

And deer weren’t all that were seen. They also spotted a couple of raccoons. Unlike deer, raccoons are a common sight in the Preserve. They can often be found sleeping in the crooks of trees on sunny days.

Mostly, Bill noticed how many big ash trees are falling down.

“The Emerald Ash Borer has caused the death of many of the beautiful trees in the Preserve within the past five years. It’s sad to them go so fast. It’s bad enough that a 80-foot ash tree dies and falls, but when it takes a good tree with it, it doubles the loss,” he said

But with the losses in the Preserve comes opportunity. With more light reaching the ground, new plants, trees and shrubs will begin to grow, including sassafras and black cherry. And changes to the vegetation also means different types of birds and animals.

Will we begin to see more woodpeckers? More chipmunks? More owls? Time will tell...

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Rediscovering The Lost Trail

Last May there was a good team effort to clear the loops trails in the Foxlands section (off of Koppernick Road). Apparently, one cutting will not keep the trails clear over the Summer. We had a quick work day in October and got the main trail mowed. We weren’t able to cut all the trails since our chief lawnmower operator, John Covert, went on a hunting expedition. However, we did clear the “lost” trail from the Koppernick parking lot to the Deer Creek bridge.

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