Three weeks ago Spence Tepper and I videotaped the magic of sun glowing through native plants on the bluff in Big Bay Park. And this morning I received an unbelievable message from Ney Collier:
For twenty years I have been working on Big Bay Park which is adjacent to Buckley Park. When I started it consisted of a forest of Burdock, Garlic Mustard, Reed Canary Grass and Canada Thistle all of which are on the DNR's list of invasives.
Gradually I removed the invasives by hand, and the native plants such as Nodding Onions, Milkweed, Dwarf Sumac, Cup Plants, Woodland Sunflowers, Zig Zag Goldenrod, New England Asters and many others were able to flourish in all their glory. With them came butterflies and bees.
On Wednesday 27th August and Thursday 28th August three large stands of native plants were mowed down. The Cup Plants were in full bloom and were being visited by Monarchs and other insects. People were horrified to see the plants chopped down. In addition pesticides were sprayed. Spraying pesticides as well as chopping down plants not only removed nectar, but probably killed butterflies.
On the warning signs is written "For additional information on this application or any future applications call Village of Whitefish Bay 962 6690." I am trying to mobilize as many people as possible to call:
1. Village of Whitefish Bay 962 6690 (Call after Labor Day, or you'll just get the police!)
2. Sue Black at 257 7275
3. DNR at 1 800 847 9367 (This is the hot line number for reporting violations. Cutting down stands of native sunflowers and spraying them with pesticides is a violation of Lake Michigan, the plants, and the children who play and swim in that area).
It’s Wednesday, 2:45 PM, and the eastern sun gleams through purple New England asters on Atwater Bluff, through fluffy grass-tips on the bluff-top. There’s always beauty around us for those with time to look, or for those who make time, which is what I’m doing.
And now it’s Thursday, I’m here again, drawing asters and wondering why more people don’t come to the bluff and the beach to balance out hectic lives. Tiny Shorewood has no shortage of parkland. It’s a village caught between a lake and a river, between At-water and Esta-brook.