Date: 6/27/20 11:39 am
From: maevulus <maevulus...>
Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] Recreation trail mowing
On 2020-06-27 14:23, Walter Medwid wrote:
> The Newport Derby recreation trail was just mowed and the mower was
> also
> used on an articulating arm to trim trees,brush and hedges along the
> trail
> edges. The timing couldn’t have been worse with birds nesting,
> wildflowers
> blooming, and turtle nests warming.
> All this is done annually to keep vegetation at bay. In this case the
> maintenance is done by VT’s Agency of Transportation whom I’ve
> contacted to
> understand why the work is done at peak season rather than at the end
> of
> season where environmental impacts would be less. Birders may want to
> see
> when their trails are managed and encourage work to be done as late as
> possible to allow for maximum biological production in our short
> seasons.
> Forgive me if this message violates protocol.
Good thing to bring up, Walter! We're facing something similar here in
Jericho Center. Two years ago the town endorsed, and even donated a
little money for, native plants to go between the sidewalks and the
road. The main purpose was to make our town more pollinator-friendly,
with secondary purposes of increasing the numbers of caterpillars for
birds and maybe even slowing traffic a bit with plantings that announced
"This is a town, not a speedway!" Since then, over a dozen residents
have contributed plants, some native to Vermont and some not. But a few
residents have complained that the flowers look "messy". They want the
town to go back to mowing that strip. One man even said that visitors
might decide not to settle in the town if they saw dandelions and other
weeds. - Right now, things are on hold, with the Conservation Commission
strongly arguing not only for the plants already here but for more.
Your example of "what's always been done" as opposed to what's
environmentally sound reinforces that all of us who are interested in
conservation can't let down our guards ever and must continue to try to
change people's minds about what "looks good" and what's really good.
Maeve Kim, Jericho Center
 
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