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Wildlife Sanctuary reports summer feats

ALPENA — Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary board members reported on past accomplishments and future plans when they held their recent Zoom meeting.

Tom Orth reported on the popular kayak tours of the Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary that he was leading as an Association of Lifelong Learners program. Plans are to conduct one of those sessions per month next summer.

City Manager Rachel Smolinski, liaison to the sanctuary board, explained the city’s goose reduction hunt plans for September.

Susie Austin reported that the Science in the Sanctuary program at Island Park and Duck Park was very well attended this summer with about 150 people (mostly children) who participated.

Catherine Stedman said that visitors to her stand helped remove spotted knapweed and leafy spurge and filled about 3/4 of a trash bag with these invasive species.

River Rats for youngsters also went well this summer, with 20-25 children at each session. Austin and Stedman led additional sessions at the Boys and Girls Club.

Chairman Terry Gougeon announced clean-up plans for spotted knapweed and autumn olive on Island Park. He also stressed the importance of visitors staying on the marked trails at Island Park.

The River Center report included a donation, mention of River Center board members Bill Haase and Judy Kalmanek helping at the annual car show, and fundraising contacts using the newly-updated business plan. Kalmanek reminded the board about another removal plan of frogbit and narrow leaf cattail (not the native cattail).

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