Fern Ridge Path Nature Walk

April 2, 2003

Who would have thought that after the sunny weather over the week-end, we would encounter such cold and wind. With our vibrant red and blue rain gear, it was easy for us to find each other at our meeting place, City View and West 11th. Our first stop was Steward Pond off of Stewart and Bertelsen Road. At the viewing area, Rick set up his bird scope. We then walked around the pond while Rick told us about native grasses, wetland restoration, birds, and other assorted information. Somehow Rick is able to put together a humorous political statement while explaining a scientific name. We were grateful for a break from the rain at Stewart Pond Hide. By the time we left the hide, the rain was pretty much over.

We picked up wetland maps and viewed a model of the new education center at the Red House (BLM) off of Danebo. From there, we took a short walk looking at areas that had been replanted with native grasses. Rick pointed out the Willow Creek Natural area on the other side of the West 11th. Margaret Wiese said that the been monitoring that area for some time.

Our last stop was the Meadowlark Prairie Overlook off of Greenhill Road. As we viewed the snow in the Coburg Hills, several people were wishing for warm gloves and a hot beverage. Unfortunately, the birds were not in residence. We made a quick walk to the first bridge so that everyone could view the wetlands and the new bike path.

Our hike was just an introduction to an area filled with many possibilities for exploration. We thank Rick for sharing bird calls and all the bits and pieces about wetlands and wildlife. Walkers were: Max Brown, Catherine Jones, Colleen Milliman, Bill and Margaret Prentice, Virginia Prouty, Margaret Wiese, Leslie Wright and co-leaders Rick Ahrens and Janet Jacobsen.

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