Across Mineral Point Road from Credit Union Center lies a field that has been unmanaged since the 1990s.
Walking there all these years, I’ve seen prairie plants establish themselves. The field became exceptionally beautiful, with whites, yellows, purples and blues in profusion. An area like this is a rare find in the city. I have observed more than 40 species of birds there, with at least 20 nesting. As milkweed has established itself, the field has become a nursery for monarch butterflies. In addition the field harbors coyotes, deer, turkeys, rabbits, ground squirrels, voles, frogs, toads and many species of butterflies, moths and dragonflies.
Last fall, part of the field was mowed for no discernible reason. Recently, the mowing was expanded two months earlier than last year in the most colorful time, and in the active nesting and butterfly production season, destroying likely thousands of monarch caterpillars, as well as the nests of late-nesting birds.
What is left is an ugly brown hay field. Who gains by this? Some administrator who was taught that only a manicured green lawn has value? Can’t we have at least some tiny bits of wild land to enjoy close by, without interference from “management”?