Last Thursday, July 24th, I decided it was time to check out the progress of the Linnean Playground stream restoration project. It had been a long time since I had walked its length from Broad Branch Terrace at Fessenden to Linnean Avenue.
I spotted Keith Underwood, the head of Underwood Associates and the contractor doing the stream restoration project at this stream and Broad Branch. He was on a small backhoe. I interrupted his work to say hello.
I then proceeded to walk the stream.
Then what did I spy cruising further down the stream in one of the bio-retention cells built by this firm?
The ducklings, which no longer look like ducklings. They appear full grown, and I could not discern the mother from the group of seven.
Also, there was a flock of birds having a delightful time flitting in and out of the leaves and branches of a downed tree that spanned the creek bed. Further down, the stream was gurgling over the rocks.
Make way for ducklings
The duck family splits its time between Linnean Playground and the Broad Branch restoration areas. So how do they get across Linnean Avenue? We think Paul Walters has the answer. He and his neighbor, Kurt Strobl, were treated to quite a sight Saturday morning while they were out walking their three (Paul’s one and Kurt’s two) German Shepherds:
“Coming toward Linnean Avenue and Harrison, we saw a troop of very determined ducks heading south – they were leaving the stream daylighting project area and headed toward the Linnean Park stream rehabilitation project area. I believe seven ducks, including the leader who was well out in front of the troop. Nothing distracted this group from their mission: Not the neighbor mowing his lawn 30 feet away, or the workers and their equipment across the street, or even the traffic on Linnean. Several neighbors gathered to wave the traffic to a stop (well, the one van that passed by). The ducks marched across Linnean with heads up, and then smartly climbed the hill to one of their favorite new ponds. The dogs were quiet, alert, but calm throughout…”
Paul suggests that a “Wildlife Crossing” sign might be needed where the two projects are closest in proximity.
And he has another suggestion: “When all the restoration and renovation work is done, and the workers leave us with beautiful new parks and wetlands I hope there is a way we Forest Hills neighbors can work with the District to ensure these lands do not fall back into disarray and overgrowth. Perhaps there’s a need for a “Friends of Linnean Park” association to monitor the area, keep the trash out, and perhaps even subsidize a modicum of maintenance beyond the haphazard and casual maintenance effort that the District historically has put out.”