by John Besser, Nature Areas Committee


Signature white oak at Wild Haven Nature Sanctuary


Lots of activity at the two primary nature sanctuaries, CANS and Wild Haven. If you haven’t been out lately, wildflowers and migration are in full swing!

At Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary (CANS):

  • We have been watching the emergence of various seedlings on the west side of the creek, which was seeded in winter 2021. The first new species to bloom in this area this spring was Indian Paintbrush.

    Deer exclosure at CANS

  • Bill Mees recently installed two 9-foot deer exclosures on the east and west sides of CANS. Comparing vegetation growth inside and outside of these exclosures will give us a better idea of the impacts of deer browsing on plants in the nature sanctuary.
  • A second honeybee hive was installed in the west side of CANS by Fred Durenberger, who has maintained the hive on the side for several years.


At Wild Haven Nature Area:

  • Area manager David Neely cleared vegetation around the chimney swift tower to make the structure more attractive for nesting swifts. He also reinstalled the plaque on the tower, which recognizes the many years of volunteer work by former manager Harold Anderson. David has also taken the lead on cleaning up several old dump sites on the property. But there is still more work to be done, so look for an announcement of an upcoming workday.
  • Anemones on the trail at Wild Haven

    A spring bird and wildflower walk on April 22 attracted 12 participants in spite of the cold and blustery weather. Bird highlights included a Yellow-throated Vireo, Louisiana Waterthrush, and Yellow-throated Warbler. We also found many spring wildflowers, including Trillium, Dogtooth Violet, Bellwort, Jack-in-the-pulpit, and Virginia bluebells.

  • Joanna Reuter has been working on new maps of Wild Haven. The first map here is designed as a large-format (11×17 inch) color map of the area showing topography, structures, and trails. This map has been completed and laminated versions have been installed in all the visitor kiosks at Wild Haven. The second map, still in preparation, will be a small-format, black-and-white map of the trail system for use by hikers. These maps will complement the on-line guide  to the new on-line guide to the Moss Trail, produced by Louise Flenner.
  • Hinkson Creek frontage at Wild Haven Nature Sanctuary

    A Stream Team of home-schooled students and parents (led by Sarah Davis) recently sampled Scotts Branch Creek at CANS and Hinkson Creek at Wild Haven. They plan to continue spring and fall sampling of water and aquatic invertebrates at these sites to characterize water quality. This team contributes their data to the network that compiles data from of sampling sites statewide.