Wildlife Sanctuary Board discusses Island Park updates

ALPENA — Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary board members, in meetings and by emails, have discussed many topics concerning Island Park maintenance and nature programming.

“Magic in Our Midst,” a winter evening nature event for families at Island Park, was held this past Saturday.

Several people have applied to fill the vacancies on the Wildlife Sanctuary Board. They will be interviewed individually by Chair Terry Gougeon and Secretary Judy Kalmanek, with reports back to the board for final selection. Previously, appreciation was extended to Roger Witherbee who has resigned after decades of capable and dedicated Island Park maintenance and Sanctuary Board leadership.

The board continued to consider the request from NOAA for local tour suggestions for passengers from 21 cruise ships planning to visit Alpena next year. A range of ideas from Tom Orth included kayak tours of the Sanctuary and guided nature tours of Island Park and other river parks along the BiPath.

Judy Kalamek, River Center chair, announced that plans for the annual Reel Fun Ice Fishing Tournament are under way for Feb. 25. Festivus, the fundraiser meal for the River Center, will be on Feb. 24 at JJ’s in “The Phoenix.”

Kalmanek also stated that updated River Center information and fundraising letters had been mailed. Montiel Birmingham, Alpena Planning, Development and Zoning Director and City liaison to the Sanctuary Board, reported that the City has set aside funds for the River Center.

An update article on the Island’s Habitat Restoration Area was passed around by Catherine Stedman. The fenced-in area is below the O.B. Eustis lookout. The restoration area shows how natural growth develops if not disturbed by people use, i.e. walking or sledding. The board discussed the importance of public understanding of the value of such research about our natural world.

Elizabeth Littler reported on changes planned for the maintenance of Sytek Park. Alpena City DPW crews will assume maintenance, such as the mowing previously provided by the Alpena County Road Commission.


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