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Re: SG-W:/ Tour de Wetlands



>When it comes to characterizing the wetlands that once existed at Huron
>Parkway and Hubbard Roads, please present your credentials as I have,
>namely working across the street from this site for nearly twenty years.

I don't believe that credentials are essential or relevant to this
conversation, however I have not worked accross the street from this wetland
for almost 20 years.

>No longer do we see the kingfisher, heron, or songbirds that
>once routinely used these wetlands.  On the day of my post, I revisted the
>barren space and noted but grackles and thirsty ones at that.

During the 10 years I have been in this area I have yet to observe a
kingfisher in that wetland, but I have seen the quality of the wetland
diminish.  I do not know nor doubt your assessment that at some period of
time during the past 17 years that this was a wonderful natural wetland, but
I don’t believe that was still the case two or so years back when the
restoration process began.  Hopefully soon, this will once again be an area
teeming with birds and other animals indicative of a healthy wetland.

I rode my bike past there today on my way to work and was delighted to see
the wetland plants growing in the wetland and I was pleasantly surprised to
see standing water in this wetland even following a few of the hottest days
of the year.  I hope those grackles find that water among the plants.

>They would certainly weigh in against your self-described
>'success' of the Pollack Design and Pfizer execution.  Oh what the heck, a
>quick run to Yahoo, account setup, and I have set the photos there:
>and view the not-so wetlands as well as the project sign, stating a spring
2001 completion.

I have never described the wetland restoration project as a “success”.  In
my initial response I stated the following: “It is true that this area is
not currently a fully restored wetland, however, if you look in there
presently, you will see that a large number of wetland plants have been
planted and are beginning to take hold, and with proper care and maintenance
this should turn into a high quality wetland in a few short years”.  I stand
by my belief that the Pollack design for this area will once again restore
the natural effectiveness of this wetland.  This will not happen immediately
but will take some time (as is typical for wetland restoration), but this is
a better option than leaving the old garbage infested area that existed
during the more recent past.

The 2001 completion date was the expected completion of planting the
project, (though I do not know when the planting was actually completed) but
unfortunately not the date that a wetland springs to full life on that site.
The maintenance and oversight of this wetland does not end in spring 2001.


>As well, perhaps you could elucidate on the purpose of Pfizer's watering
>their grass (and sidewalks) along Plymouth Road this morning (1july02) at
>8a.  While denying wildlife their essentials for living, it appears to be a
>neccessity to spend water on a lawn which has no apparent beneficial use,
>save for a nice view.  How does that fit with the environmental plans of
>Pfizer?


I absolutely agree with that Pfizer should not be watering the grass,
sidewalks or anything else, especially not during the hot portion of the
day.  I have been in contact with some of those employed in the
Environmental Department at Pfizer to express my concern over this issue.  I
hope you will do likewise.  You should also aproach your neighbors and other
businesses that are intent on watering their lawns during this part of the
summer.  Please, I hope you don't just limit concern to Fortune 500
companies.

>Your piece has airs that see nothing but good coming from a company whose
>2002 first quarter net income alone was on the order of  $2.3Billion (their
>website).  Curious how they whined about an environment unfriendly to
>business, demanding an abatement or they'll pull out, while the city is
>denigrated to increasing traffic enforcement to make up for budget
>shortfalls.

As for the profits Pfizer made last year I’m not sure how it impacts this
discussion, though I assume it does make it a bit easier for them to fund
the Miller creek restoration.  As for the tax abatement, I’m sure that the
Ann Arbor budget shortfall, which you referenced, will appreciate the $80
million dollar increase in revenue which accompanies the tax abatement (from
land that previously was not taxable), not to mention the long term economic
impact of a very large corporation paying corporate taxes, and the estimated
four thousand employees that live and shop and pay taxes in Ann Arbor and
the surrounding communities.  As for the local traffic problem, hopefully
that will be somewhat alleviated by both the access management programs in
the site design that Pollack design has worked on for the newly acquired
Pfizer property and company incentives for employees to utilize alternative
forms of transportation.

>I heartily applaud Pfizer for their support of the arts in the community.
>There have been several performances which I have attended this past season
>which were underwritten with Pfizer's assistance.  Sincere thanks for that
effort!

Maybe it would have been a shame if Pfizer had moved.  Even though there are
numerous businesses in Ann Arbor that are extremely generous to community
projects, it's not every company that has the financial means to support the
community to the extent that Pfizer does.  I was personally impressed
with--I believe it was-- a one-half million dollar donation to St. Joe's
Hospital to support Women's Health issues.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jeffrey Marine




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