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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.


The Heronry took a BIG HIT

BHeron-FLY2It seems that over the last week or so, during or right after all the rains, the front heronry at Holland Ponds received some severe damage. Two of the largest nesting trees fell to the ground, as well as a couple of branches from still standing nesting trees, also cracked off and fell. This destroyed at least 8 active nests to our accounting. This is a major catastrophe to the Heronry, especially since all of these lost nests where active ones, with either hatchlings or eggs in each of them. In youngsters alone there is a loss of some 40-50 new young Herons.

Apparently in the cases of the two full Trees that came down, they where undermined by water and the shallow root system gave way, toppling these two nesting trees. There were also some decayed branches that let loose, cracking free from the main nesting tree and bringing additional nests with them, to the ground.

On closer examinations, it appears that a number of other branches and nests are in jeopardy of not withstanding to much more punishment from Mother Nature and any further high winds or pelting rains.


Just one small section of the front Heronry and what was the nests and Trees there in March

Picture of the same nesting area without a number of nests and supporting branches

Picture of the same nesting area without a number of nests and supporting branches

This is just a small example of the destruction in the front Heronry section of this Heron Colony. It is a perfect example of how delicate the balance between Nature, Weather and outside influences can be on such a unique and special place as a Great Blue Heronery nesting site.

A positive note here, is that a couple of years back, the Herons decided to start to build more nests a little further southwest of what was the original front area nesting sites. These nests are on higher ground with Trees more deeply rooted in the soil and not being undermined by some much standing water as with much of the front nesting sites. But this is not the only answer or fix to this delicate balance here at the Holland Ponds Colony.

Look how quickly some many nests and future Heron youngsters where instantly wiped out. There are even mated herons that appear to be wandering the Colony in disbelief, with no available nests and no where to go at the moment. These are not resilient Birds. They had already bonded with a mate, mated, set up a nest, had eggs, and some some cases those eggs had already started to hatch. Then…..out of no where, they have NOTHING. Like many humans, they are lost, with no place to go, The common sense understanding that these mating pairs of Herons would just re-mate, rebuild a new nest and start all over, is not something we can expect to take place with Great Blue Herons. Through studies, this does not seem to be their way. That is why if chased off of an existing nest or bothered by man enough, these Birds will also just abandon their young and nests and leave.

The pressures being placed on these beautiful creatures by the weather, Mother Nature and Shelby Parks & Recreation is starting to become to much for this well established Colony. Soon…..they will be forced to endour a new Bike Pathway down the center of the Park, with the constant moving Bike traffic, up and down this new Pathway. This is what destroyed the 200 nest Heronry in West Bloomfield, many years ago. Just how much can this unique setting withstand? The massive cuttings around the many ponds at the Park have destroyed or eliminated many of the Turtles and most of the frogs in these ponds. The raw stripping of ground cover close along the banks of these feeding ponds have eliminated major food sources for the nesting Herons as well. Just how much pressure can this Colony withstand?

PondsSIGNwideDoes Shelby Twp. Parks & Recreation even care about this very unique environment they are lucky enough to have for their residents and guests in their own Community? The largest Great Blue Heron nesting site in Southeastern Michigan is not special enough to want to take care of such a place? Instead……they add to the pressure that Nature and the weather already put on these beautiful birds and their 10 year nesting Colony.

I am ashamed that people would knowingly do such things. I am ashamed that after even being told by others who know so much more then they do about these great Birds, they ignore the advice and facts and just continue to do the worst possible things they could do to help in the pre-destruction of this Great Blue Heronry. Their blind focused vision of a silly Bike Pathway to nowhere, except right through a Nature wonder, and considering this Bike Pathway to nowhere, more important then this unique Great Blue Heron nesting site, borders on criminal.


Ask Shelby Twp. Parks & Recreation why their Bike Pathway plans are more important then these 10 year nesting Herons, producing over 100 youngsters each year to be help maintain the Heron populations in Michigan. They can build as many new Bikes as the factory can pump out. How about new baby herons. What’s the plans there?

There is a scheduled HERON FESTIVAL coming up soon, sponsored by Parks & Recreation. REALLY??????? celebrating what? The death of these magnificent Birds. They are not only fighting the normal battles of weather and what nature throws at them, but here at Holland Ponds these herons have to withstand the destructive and manipulative forces of a Parks & Recreation that refuses to understand, seek knowledge or bother to do anything but move forward on the Bike Pathway to Nowhere, while they blindly destroy the habitat and natural environments around the feeding Ponds at the Heronry.

Oneheron Bikers are Nature lovers too, and I know of no Bike riders who would want this kind of sacrifices of such a unique and special place as these heron nesting sites, for just another Bike Pathway to Nowhere. And what about our own state DNR donating $300,000 of OUR money, to Shelby Twp. to match, to get all of this destruction completed. Can you believe that one? The Department of Natural Resources, spending money to destroy the largest Great Blue heronry in Southeastern Michigan without any research or investigation into the matter what so ever. Just the lone word of a Shelby Twp. Parks official who states……No Problem.

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