Black-Eyed Susan along the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail

Black-Eyed Susan along the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Friends of the Pumpkinvine annual dinner

It was gratifying to see so many trail supporters at the last night. Approximately 225 attended. I thought Jerry Good's presentation was excellent. When we decided on a name for the trail back in the early 90s, we knew that we wanted "Pumpkinvine" to be part of it and "trail" seemed a natural, although we thought about "greenway" and path, too. It was Ervin Beck, one of the original board members who insisted that we include "nature" in the name. He did not want biking and hiking to be the only activities identified with the trail. And so, we agreed on the name, Pumpkinvine Nature Trail.

Jerry's presentation that showed the many wildflowers, birds, small animals, wetlands and deer that benefit from the trail confirm the wisdom our naming. The trail is a rich wildlife habitat.

A highlight of Jerry's presentation was showing several video clips of birds and other animals on the trail taken by the late Merle Jacobs. Merle was an intrepid videographer and made hours of video about wildlife along the Pumpkinvine. I remember him telling me that greenways were great for increasing biodiversity among birds and animals because they provided a way for them to travel safely from one area to another. That biodiversity led to healthier animals.  

Should we care about the health of wild animals? I'm no expert, so these are just off the top-of-my-head thoughts. Selfishly we should since healthier ones are going to be more productive and enjoyable to watch. Sick wildlife also has the potential of passing diseases to domestic animals and humans. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Butts Lake has water this year

Butts Lake looking southwest
On the west side of the Pumpkinvine, a mile north of Abshire Park, there is small wetlands called Butts Lake. (Butts Lake in Google Maps.) At many times in the past, the area was so dry that it looked more like a field than wetlands. But this spring, the lake is full of water. Riders or walkers on the trail can see the lake better at this time of years because the leaves haven’t come out yet. When I was there this afternoon, there were many ducks making a racket on the lake, seemingly enjoying the spring weather as I was.

Here are a few shots of the lake today, April 12, 2011.
Butts Lake looking northwest

Monday, April 11, 2011

New gates on Pumpkinvine

Gates on the south side of SR 4.
In late March, the Goshen Park Dept. installed new control gates at SR 4 and CR 28 to prevent unauthorized motor vehicles from entering the trail. The gate arms are separated enough that it is easy to drive around them, and they can be removed for a large event like the Pumpkinvine Bike Ride or Maple City Walk.

Goshen Parks has installed similar gates on the Winona Trail at Kercher Road.

Gates at CR 28.
These gates replace the swining gates that have been in place for 10 years. The problem with them was that it required someone to open and shut them -- a real drain on limited staff resources.