Leave it to beaver
Residents push for beaver to remain undisturbed at Mary S. Young Park
Its easy to miss, and perhaps that was his intention.
Park at the gravel lot in Mary S. Young Park, walk straight past the bathroom and back toward Highway 43, and its right there if you look closely enough: a pond with a series of beaver dams in various stages of completion, built from trees that lay chipped through just a few feet away.
It is in this quiet corner of the park that the beaver has taken residence for somewhere between nine months and a year, according to Parks and Recreation Director Ken Worcester.
He was kind of discovered by one of our regular volunteers down here, Worcester said, who then asked if we could leave it alone.
That volunteer, Don Kingsborough, as well as other park regulars such as Linda Goodman, worried that the city would see the damage caused to trees and decided to forcefully remove the beaver. One tree was so thoroughly chewed through that the city had to cut it down; another neighboring tree may not be far from a similar fate.
I understand what the city is worried about, Goodman said as she looked over the beavers home. That was his first tree and they had to cut it down because it was, of course, dead. And now hes started on that one.
And yet, Worcester said the city looks at the beavers presence as a net positive a chance for residents to learn about an elusive creature while the city reaps some unexpected benefits.
The good thing is that they like the trees that we dont, Worcester said. One of their favorites is cottonwoods, and for us, while theyre in a nice spot, in parks they get big fast, they shed heavy branches, theyre messy.
If the beaver moves on to more desirable trees, Worcester said the parks department will likely wrap the trees with protective wire to keep them from being chewed on.
But thats what they do, Worcester said. If we leave him there, we have to provide for him.
The beaver has proven to be shy, and even Goodman who walks in the park every day has yet to actually see him in the flesh.
There are people who come by at about 7 p.m. to see if they can see the beaver, and they have, Goodman said. We came last night to see if we could see it, but he didnt show his face.
Goodman, for her part, never knew much about beavers before discovering the pond, but found herself fascinated by the handiwork.
Theyre just really hard-working little guys, Goodman said. That saying busy as a beaver really is true.
Goodman hopes that local teachers might learn about the beavers presence and bring young students out to see the dams and perhaps even the beaver himself if they are lucky.
(They could bring) young students who probably have never seen a beaver pond, Goodman said. Who can see what a beaver can do to a tree. And hes done quite a bit in the back, I think hes trying to build a house back there. We wonder if hes trying to find a Mrs.
Worcester agreed that it was a prime opportunity to experience a different side of nature at the park.
Its really easily accessible, Worcester said. So you can see what they do, and at the same time not really bother them too much.Add a comment