What is happening at the wetlands?
Welcome to Tule Talk! This is the first of (hopefully) many irregular newsy updates about the Crooked River Wetlands Complex (see https://www.cityofprineville.com/wetlands if you're unaware of this local treasure). We hope you find it useful.
Many of us have wondered just WHAT'S GOING ON WITH THE WATER OUT THERE. For a time, the Wetlands were becoming more of a drylands. Now, the water is back. What gives? Inquiring minds want to know.
To get to the truth, this question was posed to City Engineer Eric Klann. The main reason, he said, was simply due to a lack of water. Huh? Well, it sort of makes sense. Many natural wetlands go dry during the summer. But our Wetlands were designed as a sewage treatment facility and there should be plenty of water, right? Not necessarily. It was designed to meet the need for decades to come, Eric said, and for now, with our existing "small" population there simply isn't enough inflow in the late summer/fall to keep everything full. But this will change as Prineville grows. He also said they were looking at an opportunity to try and increase vegetation in some of the areas and thought that by allowing these areas to dry for a short time that the plants might have more of a chance.
Have you noticed the Red-tailed Hawk perched on the lamp post and on posts along the pathways? WETLANDS WILLIE has been around for a few months, and he or she is thought to be an immature bird. Say "hi" the next time you visit.
October saw CLEANING of six of the Wetlands' 13 informational kiosks. This involved removing the protective Plexiglas panels and carefully washing both sides, as well as the graphic panel itself. It seems that birds and other creatures like to deposit various "items" on and between them. A solution to prevent this, possibly a small cover for each, is being explored.
For those of you who Facebook, there's a nice DRONE VIDEO on the Wetlands' Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/crookedriverwetlands/) from Casey Kaiser, Prineville's associate planner. This gives a great aerial overview of the property from the perspective of a bird, possibly a Canada Goose. A big thanks to Casey for doing this!
Speaking of Canada Geese, portions of the asphalt path become nearly impassible because of GOOSE POOP during certain seasons. To combat this, and to address other issues such as scattered gravel and the occasional dog bombs (thanks to the majority of you who use the doggy waste bags), the volunteers have committed to regular "poop patrols" to augment the path cleaning by City personnel. So if you see tan-vest-clad folks in the electric cart, armed with broom and shovel, this is what they're up to: helping to make the world a safer, cleaner place.
The Wetlands has been the site of several EAGLE SCOUT PROJECTS, including bat houses, a bridge walkway and cart shed. Potential projects include an observation platform for the Horseshoe Pond, more benches, a bee "hotel," bike racks and an Osprey nest structure. If you'd like to contribute by donating funds or materials, by helping to oversee such a project, or have an idea for a project, let us know and we'll get you in touch with the right people.
Finally, Wetlands VOLUNTEERS ARE SEEKING SOMEONE who is especially gifted in outdoor education and outreach, both for adults and kids. If interested, reply to the contact below and we'll get back to you.
Spring is coming!
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