Wide Bike Trail Through the Preserve?: Speak Out to Save the Ott

Take Action on the Proposed Trail Through the Harvey Ott Biological Preserve

Main esker trail, looking down toward bridge, Harvey Ott Biological Preserve. Photo February 2011 Richard Brewer

The Calhoun County Commissioners will be the ones voting on the trail.  They may give more weight to messages from their constituents; nevertheless, it will be of value to them to know if the threat to the Ott Preserve is a matter of concern to conservationists and nature lovers elsewhere.

Most of the information that follows is from the Say “No” to Pavement: Protect Ott Biological Preserve organization and was supplied by Sophia DiPietro. Comments in italics are mine.  Besides earlier posts at this website, information on the proposed trail through the preserve and its drawbacks are most readily accessible at the Facebook page Say “No” to Pavement: Protect Ott Biological Preserve, especially the Wall and Info sections.

Upcoming Public Meeting–All are invited.

Ott Biological Preserve Proposed “Trailway” Public Forum Thursday, March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day) 5:30pm – 8:30pm

County Commission Chambers (3rd floor County Building)
315 W. Green St.
Marshall, MI

The County Building is near the center of Marshall .  Green is  the main east-west street and the county building is half a block east of Kalamazoo Avenue, the main north south Street.  (As a landmark, Schuler’s Restaurant is in the next block east on Green.)

This is one meeting you won’t want to miss! Don’t like the thought of the proposed “smooth-surfaced highway” through Ott Biological Preserve? This is YOUR time to speak up. There will be at least one presentation by the trailway alliance promoting their trail, and at least one presentation advocating for the protection of Ott. There will be a question/answer period and hopefully full opportunity for local citizens to make their voices heard against this trail proposal.

Come prepared! Make some notes as to why you feel Ott should remain free from development! County Commissioners need to hear from you! A regularly scheduled County Commission meeting follows the forum at 7pm

The Commission NEEDS to hear your opposition to trail development in Ott Biological Preserve. Send POLITE letters either snail-mail or email (scroll to bottom for emails group).

Calhoun County Board of Commissioners

Julie Camp (Republican)(re-elected)
8934 5 Mile Road
East Leroy, MI 49051
Fax: (269) 781-0140

Terris Todd (Democrat) (re-elected)
135 Irving Park Dr.
Battle Creek, MI 49017

Jim Haadsma (D) (re-elected)
146 South Lincoln Boulevard
Battle Creek, MI 49015

Mark Behnke (R)
474 Country Club Drive
Battle Creek, MI 49015

Steve Frisbie (R)
148 Pheasantwood Trail
Battle Creek, MI 49017

Blaine VanSickle (R)
16828 21 Mile Road
Marshall, MI 49068
No email

Art Kale (R) (Chair)
3101 Country Club Way
P.O. Box 672
Albion, MI 49224

Compiled email contacts for pasting into email
(NOTE: Commissioner VanSickle does not have an email address):
arthurkale@gmail.com, sjfriz@gmail.com, mbehnke@behnkeinc.com, jhaadsma@mccroskeylaw.com, todd4calhoun@yahoo.com, juliecamp5@gmail.com

For Calhoun County residents, to find out who your specific county commissioner is, check out the county website for more info: www.calhouncountymi.org/Departments/BoardOfCommissioners/OverviewBOC.htm

Parks/Road Commissioners who have pursued this trailway jointly with the nonprofit Calhoun County Trailway Alliance (and therefore may not be objective to concerns):

Christopher Vreeland
119 North Grand Street
Marshall, MI 49068
Fax: (269) 781-6101
Email: cbv@vreelandlaw.com

Scott Brown
504 Lincoln
Albion, MI 49224
Fax: (269) 781-6101
Email: sbrown@calhouncrc.net

Hugh Coward
546 Sylvan Drive
Battle Creek, MI 49017
Fax: (269) 781-6101
Email: local340ironworker@sbcglobal.net

Eric Tobin
520 S. Avenue C
Athens, MI 49011
Fax: None
Email: orionet@aol.com

Email Group:
cbv@vreelandlaw.com, orionet@aol.com, local340ironworker@sbcglobal.net, sbrown@calhouncrc.net

2 thoughts on “Wide Bike Trail Through the Preserve?: Speak Out to Save the Ott

  1. Joe Engemann

    Dr. Brewer: excellent post on Ott Preserve – wish I had been on email earlier and sent to the list at the end of your website article
    I’m not likely to use the preserve at my age, but it is important to save uncommon natural features for future generations and make maintrails more direct for those not interested in those features.

  2. rbrewer Post author

    @Joe Engemann

    Thanks for your comments. Even though you didn’t get anything sent to the Calhoun Co. commissioners ahead of the St. Patrick’s Day meeting, it’s not too late. You and anybody else who wants to let their opinion be heard can still send a message to the chair, Art Kale, and to any of the rest of the commissioners. The big vote will be coming up the night of April 7. The Facebook page ProtectOtt has more information about the vote.

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