Spring 2005 Holliday Nature
Preserve Association Newsletter


Springing to Life

April showers bring May flowers -- and they also bring may apples, spring peepers, marsh marigolds, trout lilies, garter snakes, wrens, herons, wood ducks, mallards, great horned owls and an occasional fox.

Spring is a great time to visit the Preserve and view the many plants and animals that call that  area home. (Spring is also a great time for peaceful hikes before mosquitoes begin prowling the trails!)

During the spring the Holliday Nature Preserve Association holds a number of activities including trail clearing, trash pick-up and removal of invasive species of plants, such as purple loosestrife. Spring is also when we team with the city of Westland and Wayne County Parks for River Day/Rouge Rescue (see page 4).  

Spring is a great time for individuals, families and groups to visit the Preserve. Joining in a hike or activity with the HNPA is a great way to become familiar with the trails and learn about the plants, trees, bird and animals that live there.  

A walk in the Preserve also provides a glimpse of what this area may have looked like nearly 200 years ago when Chief Tonquish and other member of his Pottawattamie tribe hunted along the creek that now bears his name.

The water has warmed and the Preserve has returned to life. Come join us.


HNPA Meets With Parks' Staff

On February 21, Holliday Nature Preserve President Bill Craig met with members of Wayne County Parks personnel, including Director, Beverly Watts, Deputy Director Ron Reinke, and Department Manager David Robbins, to discuss elements of the new Wayne County Parks Master Plan and how it is to benefit Holliday Nature Preserve.
During the meeting, Bill brought up the fact that during one of HNPA’s winter walks, it was noticed that some group or individual in the Cowan/Central section were cutting bypass trails around downed trees and also hammering metal trail markers into the trees. Parks management reported that they did not and would not authorize such trail marking  since it damages the trees.  
HNPA and Parks department will have future discussions regarding trail maintenance throughout the Preserve. With so many dead ash trees falling (killed by the emerald ash borer), the need to clear the trails is going to get worse before it gets better. All parties understand that trails in the need to be kept open so that visitors can enjoy their walks. Such trail maintenance also helps decrease the chances people will create their own trails.  


Winter Walks

Winter, when the snow blankets the trees and the ground is a beautiful time to walk the preserve. HNPA hosted several walks this past winter. Our February walk in Cowan/Central City  drew eight hardy soles who were outnumbered by the raccoons we found sleeping in the crooks of trees.  

A walker coming out of the preserve reported that he spotted several deer, but we didn’t have such luck. Although the deer in the preserve are used to seeing people, they are still pretty skittish. A single quiet walker has a much better chance of seeing them then a larger (and often nosier) group. Winter is the best time to spot deer, since the leaves are off the trees and
shrubs and the deer are more apt to band together while foraging.

Our late winter walk several weeks later in Hix Park drew 21 people including a group of Cub Scouts from Livonia. We walked across Tonquish Creek, then up along the ridge trail to the Pines (see map on page 2). While we did not spot any wildlife, we did have a pleasant walk.