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The Times
  • Bird watching area dedicated in memory of former Danube supervisor

  • Visitors along a portion of the Erie Canalway Trail now have a spot to sit and do some bird watching thanks to the coordination of local organizations.

    Citizen Advocates for Revitalization Efforts (C.A.R.E.) partnered with Herkimer Home State Historic Site, state Parks and Trails and the town of Danube to establish the Blue Waters Bird Watching Area.

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  • Visitors along a portion of the Erie Canalway Trail now have a spot to sit and do some bird watching thanks to the coordination of local organizations.
    Citizen Advocates for Revitalization Efforts (C.A.R.E.) partnered with Herkimer Home State Historic Site, state Parks and Trails and the town of Danube to establish the Blue Waters Bird Watching Area.
    Organizers behind this have dedicated the area in memory of Charles M. Welden, who died unexpectedly on May 9 at the age of 71. Welden was serving as the Danube town supervisor when he died, a position he held for about 20 years.
    Blue Waters is an area bordered by the recreational trail and Route 169 from Finks Basin Road to where the trail crosses Route 169 going toward Herkimer Home. Welden had worked with C.A.R.E. to find the perfect location overlooking Blue Waters and often expressed his love of the town and this wetland location.
    According to a news release from C.A.R.E., many residents over the years have bird watched in this area and, from the chosen spot, there is a view of the body of water beyond the original towpath of the Erie Canal.
    The Danube Town Council offered to help with the project — which was about three years in the making — after C.A.R.E. presented it to them in the spring, after Welden died. C.A.R.E. officials said the project would not have been completed without the town’s help.
    There were also several small fundraisers conducted by the group, along with some donations which were contributed to the project.
    Nancy Ressue, of C.A.R.E., said the site is now finished, which includes a sign, bike rack and bench to encourage watchers to visit and observe.
    “I think it’s fabulous,” she said during a telephone interview on Friday. “It went along very well with the cooperation of Herkimer Home, the town of Danube and the organization.”
    Wendy VanderBogard, state landscaper, visited the area to help with site selection and site construction. Karen Sheckells, Herkimer Home director, provided guidance and assistance to the volunteers throughout the planning process.
    Ressue said birding is one of the most popular outdoor sports and attracts tourists. According to the C.A.R.E. news release, members of the Kirkland Bird Watching Club visited the area in the spring and were impressed with the variety of species along the trail, having noted 28 distinct species in one hour.
    Ressue said Jayne Ritz, also of C.A.R.E., was the general chairman of the project and did the majority of the planning.
    C.A.R.E. is a group of concerned citizens working for the common good, according to its news release. Their efforts include the removal of graffiti from the recreation trail, the publication of Revolutionary War sites in the Mohawk and bringing experts to Moss Island to catalog the species of its moss and lichens.

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