Project: Paradise Valley Wildlife Area, Bark River Unit and Rome Pond Wildlife Area
Project Start Date: 03/26/2022
Project End Date: 03/27/2022
By Mike Alaimo, Lead Adopt a Wildlife Area (AWA) Volunteer
There is always a brief time period where AWA work has to get done in March. Unfortunately, nature provides two cold fronts, and Spring goes into reverse. Despite the less than ideal weather, we braved the elements and tackled two big projects this weekend.
Out at the Bark River Unit of Paradise Valley Wildlife Area, a small group from Waukesha brush cut and cleared an area near the main parking lot. At first, the 20 mph winds were daunting, but after an hour they were almost a relief. There is still more work to finish up, but we got approximately a quarter of an acre cleared.
On Sunday, the old mud motor purred along happily as it chewed through the newly formed 1/2” of ice on the water. Clouds of ducks took to the air over Rome Pond. Divers, tons or mallards, and even coot filled the ranks. As we pushed up into the Bark River, flocks of wood ducks were kicked up at nearly every bend. This is a special time of year at Rome, as the amount of life is always awe inspiring.
What was more impressive was the tally of over 25 boxes. All had hatches in 2021. There were over-achievers with a pile of shell fragments and evidence of multiple broods. Seeing the white gold along the bottom of the Bark River punctuates a job well done.