Tuesday, June 10, 2014

June 10th Update On Bridgeport's Lyle And Davis Parks

My dog and I took another walk through Bridgeport's two parks this morning.  It was nice weather for a walk, the mosquito's weren't too bad as long as you stayed out of the tall weeds and woods.  Sadly though the tires and trash were still there.
My first comment is directed to the residents that use Lyle and Davis Parks:  You bring your fishing gear, your snacks, your beer cans with you when you go to the parks, WHY do you not take them with you when you leave?  Just because Bridgeport Township itself is allowing these two parks to turn into trash piles does that mean that it is OK for you to add to the trash problem?  I used to carry plastic shopping bags with me when I would go for walks through the parks and pick up the trash left behind by my fellow residents but I quit after there was too much drug paraphernalia being left in Lyle Park.  One good side note here, in the ironic sense, is that since Bridgeport Township has closed off Lyle Park for most public use, there is less trash being left behind by the park users.

So while my dog and I were walking along the non-motorized walking trail through Lyle Park I stopped on the trail to take a few photos of the tires still lying down in the low area between the trail and railroad tracks.  I suspect all 7 tires are still there, these are just 3 of them that you can see right from the trail.  Last week they all had water in them and I suspect after the rain tonight they will have water in them again, once again serving as a mosquito breeding ground.

I was thinking that maybe some group like a Boy Scout group would be interested in getting a volunteer effort together to clean up all the trash and tires down in Lyle Park, but that probably is not a good idea.  There is too much trash, too many sharp rusty objects down in that low area.  And too many mosquitoes and  nasty plants like Poison Ivy etc..  So I guess the trash and tires will remain there, maybe some of it will get washed away downstream in the next flood.

As we walked along a little farther down the trail in Lyle Park we came upon the abandoned boat ramp and dock.  It is a sad sight to many former users.  Since I was there last week, part of a tree has fallen down and landed on the dock that just sits there on the bank now.
It felt like such a sad ending for the poor dock.  But the poor dock was often neglected by Bridgeport during it's life there.  It would sit onshore for half the summer, then late in the season they would finally put it in the water.  But then they would leave it in the water for the winter and it would end up floating downstream and then end up frozen into the river for the winter.  Maybe Bridgeport would let someone come and haul it away and give it a good home where it could be used.  Or it will probably just continue to sit there until it finally falls apart and either the pieces float downstream or they will haul it over to Davis Park and add it to the big trash/burn pile there.

There was a dead tree that had fallen down next to the trail there in Lyle Park and I was wondering if they would ever clean that up.  I was so happy when I saw that they did.  Here is where it was fallen down and you can see they cleaned it up.

But then I saw what they did with the dead tree................................................
They got some big equipment down there and pushed the tree into the river...Not all the way into the river, the trunk is sitting on the very edge of the bank and parts of the tree are in the river.

Here is a good view of that tree from the other side of the river in Davis Park.

In time that tree will end up out in the river.  The next flood will definitely dump that tree out into the river.  Friggin' Brilliant move on the part of Bridgeport Township!!
They are planning on putting in two canoe launches on the river, one right there in Davis Park.  So it makes sense that they would dump the dead tree into the river too.  That should make for some good canoeing down the Cass River through Bridgeport.  There are already trees there in the river so I guess one more won't hurt!  I would think that they would be working on clearing the other trees out of the river, not dumping more in.
Here are a few of the others..

Here are a few more down by the Fort Street Bridge.  One tree is stuck out on one of the sandbars and the big sandbar has trees down on the one end of it also.

Years ago when I was down along the Cass between the Fort Street Bridge and where the river heads towards Riverview etc... there was a huge log jam that blocked the entire river, from one side to the other.  I don't know if that log jam has been cleared out or not since I haven't been down there in years.  I heard that someone had started on clearing it out.  I have also heard that there were other log jams along the river that would interfere with running canoes down this river.   And I have heard that there are other areas between the two proposed canoe launch sites where the river is so shallow you can walk across it and there are sandbars there also.
So, you have a river that already in spots has only 1 to 2 inches of water in it, and logs and trees scattered all through it....  That doesn't sound like a good recipe for a successful canoe launch.
If I was planning on putting in two canoe launches, I would first clear the logs and trees out of the river, I would close off the man made canal along Fayette St./Fort Rd. that has caused the water flow to change in the river and has caused the silting and sandbars, I would dredge the river out so it is deep enough to run canoes down, I would clean up the trash in the two parks along the river and where one of the canoe launches is supposed to be placed.  Those are just my thoughts on how to launch a successful canoe run.

Here are a few more photos down by the Fort Street Bridge.   One is of the other end of the biggest sandbar and also one taken from the sandbar looking at the low water levels under the bridge.  More sandbars will be appearing soon as the water levels continue to drop.
My dog wasn't too happy with me at this point.  She loves to swim in the river but when the water levels get too low like they are right now, if you let them swim and don't bathe them afterwards they will break out in sores on their body.  And if you let them drink too much of this nasty water they will vomit and get the diarrhea.  So no swimming for my dog today.

Here are some more photos from the backside of the biggest sandbar and then where my dog and I walked along the ill fated man made canal that was dug from the Cass River to the once beautiful pond in Davis Park.  At the end of the canal at the river and behind the sandbar, that water is getting nasty.  There are still a few pools of the stagnant water in the canal but most of it has dried up now.  Hopefully the canal will continue to dry up, but that depends on how much rain we get the rest of this summer.  The pools of water are now showing the sheen/oily substance that tends to float on the top of the water there every year.  It doesn't show up that well in these photos but it is there.  Someone told me that is just from plant material decomposition, whatever it is, it looks nasty and usually smells nasty.

The large pool of water at the end of the canal in Davis Park, where the culvert runs under the road from the wetlands into Davis Park, is going down.  It is now dry on the canal end and there is only a little water coming through the culvert.  And the pond in Davis Park is almost totally dried up now for the season, due to the silting in of the pond which was caused by the change in the flow of the water caused by the canal they dug.
Who would have thought back in 1975 when Bridgeport Township put in their long ago failed canoe launch in the pond and dug that canal to the river, that it would cause so much damage here.
If you look closely at this next photo you will see these small guppie size fish all congregated around the area where the small trickle of water is coming through the culvert pipe into the large pool in Davis Park.  That is the only place where there is enough oxygenated water for them. 

One of my dog's favorite parts of our walks through the parks is the wooded area on the Davis Park Island.    I was glad to see that they did finally mow that tall grass on the rest of the island.  Now it looks like a half a@@'d mowed hay field, but at least it is mowed.  They also mowed a path through the woods so my dog and I braved the mosquito's back there.  We found that the trash piles are still there back in the woods.  They have actually added more brush to the big trash pile. Maybe they are getting ready to burn it again.  At times in the past you would go back there after they had burned the big pile of brush and trash and the ground would be smoldering for days.  I was hoping they would haul the trash off to a proper landfill but it doesn't appear they are planning on it.  Maybe they are planning on turning Davis Park back into a dump/landfill like it was years ago.  Davis Dump, it has a certain ring to it.


Bridgeport Township is planning at some time in the future to extend their non-motorized walking trail.  The trail now starts at the historic bridge and goes through the trash and tire filled Lyle Park, then over the Fort St. Bridge.  They will be extending it along Fayette St. and then into the long neglected, dried up and trash filled Davis Park.  I imagine that will draw visitors from all across the state........
They have also applied for I believe two grants to build their proposed two canoe launch sites in a unusable and filthy Cass River, with one of those proposed launch sites being placed in the neglected, trash filled Davis Park.
WHY would anyone give them grant money to do that?
All they need to do is take a look at the past mismanagement and neglect of Bridgeport Township in their parks.  The past is the past and it is now different people running the show here, but the neglect and mismanagement seem to be the same.  They restored the bridge which is a good thing, but that came with much controversy, and Davis Park seems to me to be more neglected than it has been in years.  Lyle Park is no longer of any use to anyone other than the few who walk or ride on the trail. If they can get equipment down into Lyle Park to push a dead tree into the river, you would think they could get some equipment and employees down there to also clean the trash up.  In Davis Park, the mowers go back and mow around the trash piles, there is a nice two track back there, so why don't they get the equipment and employees back there to clean up the trash?
Those two proposed canoe launch sites sit in the two worst flood areas that I am aware of here in Bridgeport.  How many weeks or months have they had to put off the surveying of the sites and putting in the stakes because the flooding was too bad?  The flooding was actually worse last year than it was this year.  So those areas will be under flood water and unusable for months every year, and then during the summer the river will be too shallow to get a canoe down.  If some fool gives them that grant money for the canoe launches and they actually get them put in, they will just neglect them like they have done to the two canoe/boat launches they had in the past.
But Hey, It's Free Grant Money!!  So when this money gets wasted like the past grant monies they have received, who cares, it is not their money, it is just tax payer money.

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