Western Wildlife Corridor Newsletter for Summer 2002



Western Wildlife Corridor’s 10th anniversary celebration was held on Friday evening, April 26th , at EarthConnection. It was a perfect April evening in the most extraordinary surroundings of the energy-efficient EarthConnection building.  Some people ate dinner (provided by WWC) and drank out of their commemorative WWC mugs outside before they returned indoors to listen to the speakers. Sr. Judith Metz, SC, spoke about the history of the Sisters of Charity in Delhi.  WWC Board Members Dee Sizler, Ron Kruse, Tim Sisson, and WWC staff member Cheryl Reinke Peck spoke to the crowd of about sixty-five people about the Western Wildlife Corridor’s current activities and plans for the future. 

It was a wonderful evening capped off by full moon and a walk down Sister’s Hill led by Dan Boone, a former WWC Board Member. Dan and other former Board Members, Mike Maio, Jeff Kirschner, Bill Reichling, and Steve Albert, were thanked for their efforts in supporting the Western Wildlife Corridor.  

Clare Johnson, of the Citizen’s Land Conservancy of Hamilton County, was “inspired” and Jack Sutton, Deputy Director of the Hamilton County Park District, asked everyone to vote for the park levy on May 6th

Many thanks to the WWC members and friends in attendance for supporting the Western Wildlife Corridor.  And may the experiences of the last ten years make the second decade even better! 


A Message from the President, Jim Schenk

A number of years ago a scientist told me that global warming would not just cause a heating of the planet but a greater vacillation of temperatures.  The Earth will lose some of its capacity to sustain the same wind flows since they are so dependent upon hot and cold.   Temperatures will fluctuate more and there will be more droughts, more violent windstorms, etc. 

I was talking to another person a few weeks ago who said that he believed science will be able to rectify any mistakes we humans might make on the planet.   

It is hard for our minds to comprehend the enormity of global warming and other issues that are so big.  For many just ignoring it seems easiest.  For others to believe that we can correct any mistakes we make makes them feel safe.  I believe our human survival is going to depend on our accepting that we are interdependent with this planet.  We need to realize that we can seriously damage this planet, possibly to the point where the human species will not have what it needs to survive – soils to grow food, clean air, clean water, protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, etc.   Only one of these need to not sustain us for the species to cease to exist.  We need to take ourselves seriously.

Among the things we need to look at are our woods.  They help cleanse the water in rain time, slows runoff which controls soil erosion, help cleanse and cool the air and absorb carbon monoxide and release oxygen to the air. 

The Western Wildlife Corridor is a critical wooded area along a large metropolitan area.  It is an area that we need to protect.  It needs to be protected for these immediate reasons, but also because of the global affect it has.  Some people see wooded areas around the Planet as the lungs of the Earth.     

It is hard for our minds to grasp this.  It is like the difficulty of seeing how driving my car can effect global warming.  It seems so small and insignificant.  By itself it is.  Add it to the actions of 6 billion other people and it can and does have serious effects planet wide.  Just that number of people is hard to comprehend much less the accumulations of their actions. 

What is easier to understand is preserving the Western Wildlife Corridor because of the beauty and wonder of these wooded areas, and its provision of homes for other than human species.  Those are reasons enough.  But in reality, it is so much more.  We need these woods.  We are interdependent.

WWC Land/Stewardship Committee Update  By Tim Sisson 

The Land/Stewardship Committee has been very busy the last several months.  Here is a brief description of what we’ve accomplished.

 Annual inspections.  All of WWC’s properties have been visited and inspection reports have been written.  Findings ranged from superlative to the abysmal. 

 On the superlative side were several properties that are beautiful examples of the type of natural wooded hillsides that WWC is seeking to preserve.  The Delshire Preserve in Delhi Township was a mass of wildflowers on the spring day we visited.  In addition, this preserve is home to some magnificent trees that go back to pioneer days.  One in particular, a Burr Oak, is estimated to be over two hundred years old  (see photo below).  Some of the properties on Sister’s Hill and in Addyston are graced by some exceptional trees.   

On the abysmal side were the properties that are almost totally covered with Amur honeysuckle.  If you haven’t seen this phenomenon up close, suffice it to say that very little grows on the forest floor when you have a mass of honeysuckle branches and leaves blocking out the sunlight.  We also found that illegal dumping had occurred on two of our properties. 

Cleanups.  In the two instances where dumping had occurred, it was decided to do something about it – clean it up! 

One property had somehow become littered with all kinds of BIG stuff, like old broken highway orange barrels, large sheets of metal, broken signs, and tires.  In addition, there was the usual assortment of broken bottles, paper, and cans.  On June 8, a group of us descended on the property to get rid of this stuff.  Members of WWC who participated in the cleanup effort included Bob Nienaber, Don Patrick, Tim Sisson, Bob Neal, Ray Ulrich (who is also a neighbor of the property), and our WWC staff member Cheryl Reinke Peck.  In addition, several members of the Sierra Club, Beverly Sharp, Robert Thomas, Mary Jo Wuest Murphy and Don Nagel helped out.  This was a “service outing” for the Sierra Club – an event where their members help another organization with an environmental activity.  At the end of the day, one could walk the property and not see any litter – a big accomplishment.  Thanks very much to all who helped out. 

The other cleanup involves the removal of yard waste at the Delshire Preserve, which has been scheduled for Saturday, July 20th.  Delshire neighbors, Diana and Richard Veid, have volunteered to rent a chipper and another neighbor, John Lewinski, is going to see if the Boy Scouts can help.   In addition, Bob Nienaber is researching the best way to remove the Amur Honeysuckle that is beginning to make inroads on the property.

 This is shaping up to be a rewarding, enjoyable day that will address the heart of the stewardship problems that can occur with property as well as promote and raise support for our organization.  Call Cheryl Reinke Peck at 921-9453 for more information and details and – please join us on July 20th!