To the Editor:
Mowing ditches seems to be something that could be eliminated or reduced. This would improve habitat and save tax dollars. Tree lines and hedgerows are being removed in order to grow more crops. Keeping the roadsides unmowed will help mitigate the resulting habitat loss for pollinators and other wildlife.
This is the second year that we have asked the township not to mow our ditch in front of crop/wood lands. The wildflowers and “good plants” are doing well, and the only thing that has had to be kept up with is taking care of some burdock on a plant-by-plant basis, which we do.
The cover actually allows animals (domestic and wild) to “get low” when vehicles drive by. Last week, I observed a wild turkey hen with nine chicks taking cover in the ditch (last year, the mower went over a wild turkey nest and the hen never returned to the eggs). Equipment inventory and maintenance could be reduced. Birds are active, and the milkweed is in bloom!
Old habits that are hard to break could add up to save tax dollars, which is something we all would like to see. Contact your township road commissioner if you would like to give this a try. I also would encourage all to see if there are any other ways to curtail expenses, because if expenses are not reduced, taxes will continue to rise. I know that there are other ideas out there!
Douglas J. Hawthorne