by John Besser


Progress at Wild Haven

It’s been a busy year at Wild Haven, Columbia Audubon’s largest nature area. All the work that has been put into the area really shows, and we hope it will achieve our goal of making the area more welcoming and increasing public use of the area. Improvements over the last year have been many, including:

  • Leveling and reinforcing the roof of the picnic shelter and mounting the historic ‘Wild Haven’ sign on the gable end
  • Demolishing the decrepit ‘Boy Scout shelter’ near the picnic area
  • Clearing, rerouting, and marking the yellow, white, and orange hiking trails
  • Demolishing the fallen footbridge and repurposing the lumber into many Leopold benches installed around the trail network
  • Removing Autumn Olive from much of the area surrounding the picnic shelter
  • Regular mowing of trails and open areas around the picnic shelter

But that’s not all. In the last few weeks significant additional improvements have been made:

New parking area. Most noticeably, Bill Mees, David Neely, and Wild Haven neighbor Riley Nichols constructed a new parking area at the main gate at wild Haven. This feature was constructed of sections of telephone poles sunk into the ground and cabled together with repurposed electric power line. Now Wild Haven visitors will be able to park their cars off the dusty road without having to have a key to open the gate.

New entrance sign. The ancient and unstable sign over the Wild Haven gate has been moved and a new, highly professional welcome sign has been built and installed near the parking area by Bill Mees.

New trail segment. Last week, several volunteers spent a few hours re-opening ¼-mile segment of hiking trail that loops around the large pond on the east end of the wild Haven property. This trail segment starts near the workshop building and ends onto O’Rear Road. This segment has been cleared to allow easy access to the scenic and bird-rich habitats around the pond, but it is still a work in progress, and we plan to connect the end of this trail to the orange trail on the north side of the road.

Wild Haven Pond

Drop by any time you want to spent some time in a peaceful, bird-rich natural environment.

 Wild Haven Bird Walk, May 16

Common Yellowthroat

Eight people joined me for a bird walk at Wild Haven last Sunday. Although we did not see our target birds — the black-crowned night heron and black-billed cuckoo seen a few days earlier — the area was full of migrating birds and bird song. We walked the new trail around the east pond, then we followed he white loop trail to connect with the yellow trail, which we followed further south along Hinkson Creek. We found a total of 51 species, including 13 warblers. A single Canada Warbler was probably the highlight. It was great to bird as a group again, something that most of us have not done much in the previous year.

All photos by John Besser except for the Common Yellowthroat, which was taken by Jon Rapp

New Wild Haven Parking Area

Wild Haven Birding Hike

Chestnut-sided Warbler







Have a great summer!