I’m angry about the timing of the dredging of the Loring Pond.*
By the time work got underway last week, hundreds of male red-winged blackbirds had already returned to the pond for mating season. Obviously the project won’t be halted, but I have to wonder weather wildlife experts were consulted during the exploratory phase. The male red-wings are staking out territory in anticipation of the return of the females. It’s heartbreaking to watch these beautiful birds trying to secure their roosts with a John Deere excavator bearing down on them like some science fiction beast.
Why did the MPRB not wait until the end of the season — say, October — to tear up their habitat?
*”The Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (MPRB) at its Feb. 21 meeting approved a proposal to dredge the northwest bay of Loring Pond to eliminate the invasion of cattail that has choked much of the original shoreline that was restored in 1999.
The restoration stabilized the shoreline, improved wildlife habitat and reduced geese problems in the eight-acre pond. “It was successful until the cattails moved in,” explains Sara Aplikowski, MPRB water resources coordinator. “Cattails have taken over and replaced a beautiful native, diverse shoreline planting.”
MPRB and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) agree on dredging the 1.3 acres of the northwest bay as the solution to alleviate the cattail invasion.
Dredging the northwest bay and under the bridge will also restore the water levels to enable the return of non-motorized recreational boating, and the island will once more be a distinguishable feature. In addition, the deeper water level will make the pond less attractive to cattails.
Funding for the $73,850 maintenance project is from MPRB’s 2007 water resources budget. Work is expected to begin in March and will take two to three weeks, weather permitting.”–from the MPRB website