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  • Great Blue Herons

    Info and guide to understanding this magnificent bird

Pick it apart, little by little

While Holland Ponds is being slowly destroyed, Shelby Parks & Recreation is lining up people and Organizations to tell everyone that “It will all be OK”. Mr. Youngbloods original quote about the harm and Gamble the new BIKE Pathway would do as the final blow of destruction to the heron nesting site at Holland Ponds.

There are people making assumption statements that are to pass as facts about the heronry and the effects of the Bike Pathway on that Heronry. A recent assumption was that Shelby Naturalist Dan Farmer was consulted extensively on just how the new Bike Pathway would effect the Herons and the nesting site at Holland Ponds. Great assumption! But not true. Which now makes the situation disgusting. To have such a quality Naturalist as Mr. Farmer and not use his Nature knowledge is just stupid.

Mr. Youngblood of Parks & Recreation also never conferred with the organization who has studied this specific heronry more then any other over the last 10 years. In fact…..”HOLLAND PONDS” the Group has fed info, nest countings, effects of local wildlife, plants and aquatic life and their effects on the Heronry, directly to Mr. Farmer. It is where he has gotten all of his information on the very fine details taking place at Holland Ponds Heron Colony.

So…..after almost a year now, of very bad maintenance at Holland Ponds. That would be bed maintenance for a Natural area, but good maintenance for a local Ball field, the hired Lawn Cutting service has treated the front Ponds at Holland Ponds, like they where Ball fields. Pond-side grasses and habitats/cover, for the ponds Frogs, Turtles and Aquatic life, has been stripped to bare ground since the middle of this past Winter. Yes…..Parks & Recreation started these Pond strippings in the middle of Winter. Much of the life is gone or has been reduced tremendously in the front are Ponds at the Park.

The herons have now lost almost 12 Nests to rain-felled nesting Trees and other Nature and questionable causes. Little by little…..Pick….Pick…..Pick, at the life, Habitats and environments at Holland Ponds, so that when that last heavy hammer of a Bike Pathway comes this summer, there will be almost nothing left to Kill, as far as Herons.

After 10 years of writing reports for Shelby Twp. Parks & Rec. and the Shadbush Nature, to help keep all these people informed about this wonderful Park in their jurisdiction, I am sooooooo dismayed by how these same people have picked at destroying this once Heron nesting site in Southeastern Michigan. It WAS the largest Great Blue Heron nesting site in Macomb county. Something I would have thought that Macomb county would have been proud of. Who would ever have believed that this Heronry would go the same route, as the Pathway which went alongside the then, largest heronry in West Bloomfield. The EXACT SAME WAY. No one learned anything from that experience. Except how to manipulate the truth and the facts to fit their needs. Destroyed by the ignorance of Parks & Recreation and the insane focus on Bike Pathways being more important then a Natural place. Obviously Shelby Twp. does not want even this very small Natural place in their Township. Just more Amusement rides, Ball Fields and conquering style Sports.

I wonder if that would actually be the Vote from the People of Shelby Twp/ And I do not mean another one of those fixed Surveys, where you call your friends and get their opinion on what YOU want to do about Bike Paths. Or go to a Bike Race and ask the Bikers there if they would like another Bike Pathway. This is a well nurtured trick by the DNR, various city Parks & Recreations. The Greenways Alliance has produced this kind of Surveys and questionnaires to show some sort of backing for their Bike Pathway projects. yet they where just about out of business about 3 years ago, because no one wanted to support them or finance them any longer. Until they joined forces with our State DNR and then local Parks & Recreations. Then the BOG CON began in full. It is running in full, in Shelby Twp. at this moment.

Holland Ponds is no longer the Largest Great Blue Heron nesting site in S.E. Michigan. Shadbush Nature center, Naturalist Dan Farmer, or even the person that Guaranteed absolutely NO PROBLEMS with the Bike Pathway affecting the Nesting site, Joe Youngblood have any idea that this is so. They only know what they are told about the Heron nesting site. Dan Farmer will even be leading a guided Hike at Holland Ponds for the Oakland Audubon Society and their meeting there. Hey Dan…..let Oakland Audubon know they are looking at a quickly dwindling, once the largest, Great Blue Heron nesting site In macomb county. Wonder why Oakland Audubon is at a Macomb county Park to have their meeting and have Dan Farmer lead a Heron Hike. Something he knows very little about. He is a very smart Naturalist, but knows nothing about the specifics of these Herons at Holland Ponds.All the write-ups, Videos, Pictures and studies over the last ten years have ALL been done by us, and not a single report or even a small write-up from Mr. Farmer. That is because he is the low-man on the UNION Parks & Rec. Totem Pole. Do you all get it yet? Pretty sad, HUH? 😦

There is now another Macomb county heronry that is larger and another Oakland county Colony that is larger. We expect the Holland Ponds Colony to fade to just the newer Rear herony by next year, at best, and then go into Oblivion, just like the West Bloomfield heron nesting site.

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Ashok Annual HERON HIKE

For the 7th year in a row, we will be returning to the largest Great Blue Heron nesting site in Southeastern Michigan, to witness the arrivals of the herons. Each year around the beginning of March, the Herons return from their Wintering grounds, to mate and rebuild their nests here at Holland Ponds.

Seven years ago, a longtime Hiking Michigan member, Ashok, suggested we start a Hike to show the importance of this very special and unique place in Shelby Twp. Michigan. And here we are some 7 years later, still meeting our friends at Holland Ponds as they produce another year of youngsters that will help this Heronry continue to grow, as it has for the 10 years it has existed.

We hope you will join us in a short walk to the viewing areas and watch as the returning Herons select mates, rebuild and claim nests, and get started on another season of reproducing still more Great Blue Herons.

GET A FLYER WITH DETAILS AND A MAP TO OUR MEETING PLACE HERE:

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The Park is small, so the Hiking will not be extensive. The focus is the Herons and their activities around the nesting sites. bring along a pair of binoculars and warm cloths. It can get chilly while you stand and watch these magnificent Birds.

We will do some roaming around the Park and we might see some Deer, White Egrets, Green Herons, Turtles & Frogs of all types, nesting Geese, Owls and Hawks. This Park is known as the Bird baby Factory because of the many different species that come here each year to nest and have their young. This is because of the habitats and natural environment there. A very delicate balance is in play at the Park. Nurturing is required by Shelby Twp. Parks & recreation if these many different species are to continue to flourish and survive.

There are many very experienced people the Parks department has available to consult with in keeping this special place the Gem it has been, for now and for future generations. We only hope that they understand their duties and responsibilities to such a unique place in Southeastern Michigan. Baseball diamonds and BIKE paths are plentiful in the area. But there is only ONE, largest Great Blue heron nesting site in Michigan. And that precious place is at Holland Ponds Park.

Come and join us for this annual celebration in HERONS, this Saturday, March 23rd, 12 Noon – 3pm. A colored Map and other goodies await all in attendance.

GET THE LATEST PARK MAP HERE:

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6th annual Ashok HERON HIKE

In HIKING MICHIGAN tradition for some 6 years now, we will be doing our annual “Ashok HERON HIKE” dedicated to the Great Blue Herory at Holland Ponds Park. This is the largest Heronry in S.E.Michigan, and a place we have watched over for these last 6 years.

Come on out and do a special Hike just for the Herons and see and hear about their activities at the Colony nesting site, and learn about their possible future there at the Park.

The group will be meeting at the Holland Ponds parking area at 12pm. The Hike will run until 2pm, with options for more Park activities or further nature activities back at the Shadbush Nature Center.

You can download a Flyer with more details here:  ASHOK ANNUAL HERON HIKE

Great Blue Herons Return 2012

2012 has seen the early return of the Herons to their nesting sites at Holland Ponds park. by the third week in March, 2012, all 39 existing nests have been occupied by mating pairs. There are also many males who have not found a mate yet, that are around the edges of the Heronry.

There are some new nests already being built and hopefully this will be a successful and expansive year for the Herons.

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