Ozaukee County and the entire state of Wisconsin birding community were saddened at Noel Cutright's departure from our midst.
Perhaps the best of so many tributes to Noel is this one that begins " He knew why migratory warblers traveling north from the Caribbean and South America found Wisconsin such a perfect place to land. They travel by night, Noel Cutright said. "When it gets light they say, 'Uh-oh, I'm over water. I need to find land.' That's why the western shore of Lake Michigan is so important for migrant birds,..." by Jan Uerbelherr that ran in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal. We would print it here but for copyright concerns, so please check out this link it is a beautiful tribute.
Noel's service was held at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve, home of the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory, the most recent addition to his long history of accomplishments. Hundreds of people came to share stories about Noel and the wonderful legacy that he left.
Noel will be both greatly missed and always remembered by all of us in Ozaukee, as a mentor, an innovator, a visionary and a crack ornithologist. Noel's presence stood solidly behind so many of our organizations. Even he understood the magic of his endorsement; he worked to be sure that the Riveredge Bird Club, which he founded, made the initial donation to a start-up to ensure it would succeed. He never missed.
Our most recent OTN gathering focused on two projects, one of which was the Krier Wetland Restoration in Belgium. Clay Frazer and Steve Hjort not only talked about the restoration itself, but how they worked through all kinds of weather as time was of the essence. Bruce was fighting cancer and this wetland restoration, the largest private wetland restoration in Wisconsin, was his dream. He wanted to see it to completion. Besides the wetland restoration, his legacy includes the Bruce Krier Foundation, which provides grants and scholarships to education and community projects.
Bruce passed away on December 5, 2013.
and Legacies Begun
Town of Grafton Legacy Trail
The Town of Grafton recently gave a name to its trail in progress - the Grafton Legacy Trail, so named because it will take years to complete and because it is a gift to future residents to enjoy the open spaces that have drawn current residents to live the town, something they almost take for granted. The trail is currently about a mile in length, with another mile or so under easement and waiting for construction. The entire trail is mapped and will run a little over 15 miles from the north end to the south end of the Town when. It is a multi-use trail and includes horseback riding to meet the Town's long-standing and growing equestrian presence.
The Ulao and Mole Creeks Re-meanders
The Milwaukee River Watershed Fish Passage Program is, among other things, funding work on both Ulao Creek and Mole Creek.
Parts of Ulao Creek were trenched for farming convenience and a section was buried for interstate construction. The area just north of Hwy. 60/Ulao Road and extending north of Arrowhead Road is being rerouted into a lovely meander, similar to what it was in pre-settlement times. Along with the meander, wetland scrapes will extend the spawning areas for the fish that are returning as a result of the Fish Passage Program's work in Ozaukee County.
This work is being done on private lands with owner contracts. Ulao Creek land owners are very excited about the project. Most are members of the Ulao Creek Partnership, which has worked for years to improve the health of this beautiful little creek and watershed. UCP is very much involved in partnering with this effort. Andrew Struck and Matt Aho are our OTN connections on this project, along with August Hoppe and Paul Helms from Ulao Creek Partnership.
Mole Creek is experiencing a similar reconstruction just south of Hillcrest Road in the Town of Saukville. The goal of this project is to create habitat that will support cold to cool-water fish and other aquatic life, including trout and to provide riparian habitat for wildlife. Willl Wawrzyn and Andy Holschbach are our OTN connections for Mole Creek.