Here we are in the middle of spring. The trees are budding and some flowers are blooming. If you glance up at the sky, you may be very lucky to see some of our very own Gig Harbor herons.
Our Gig Harbor herons are known as great blue herons. While being blueish in color they can often appear grey. Our herons stand 3 to 4 feet tall with a wingspan of 4 to 4 1/2 feet. Like many birds their bones are hollow, allowing for maximum air lift.
When you see our herons flying, they will likely have branches and nest-building materials in their beaks. Spring is the time for nest repairing and rebuilding before the mating ritual and egg laying. If you want to see photos of our beautiful Gig Harbor herons, visit the Citizens for Gig Harbor Facebook page or blog.
Where there is a colony of heron nests, it is known as heronrie. How blessed we are to have established heronries here in our town of Gig Harbor.
The Gig Harbor City Council saw fit to vote to support the Olympic Property Group development company. This company destroyed the property along Peacock Hill and continues to wipe out more land, leaving in its wake an ugly, scarred piece of earth. Olympic Property Group’s money-making machine might be running out of land to convert into dollars.
Where will they go next?
In January, the Olympic Property Group, based in Poulsbo, was elected to the Board of Directors of the Downtown Waterfront Alliance. How convenient. The goal of development is to make a profit, whether or not it is chewing up land or existing buildings.
For generations, our Gig Harbor herons and their chicks have called Gig Harbor home. Our heronrie and these bird families are located in downtown Gig Harbor.
Olympic Property Group wants to tear down the property next door to our heronrie. But wait, there’s more.
It appears as long as Gig Harbor has any spot of beautiful green earth left, our council will welcome any developer to come and turn it into money to line their pockets.
The heronrie is downtown on a piece of beautiful green treed earth overlooking the sound. There are groups of developers working to figure out how to build on this property, regardless of the negative impact to our protected herons. Indiscriminate building could be the end of our herons.
Washington state and federal regulations are in place to protect our herons. If anyone disturbs or destroys the herons or heronrie, those people can go to jail and pay a fine. Gig Harbor has a Comprehensive Plan, including a Critical Area Ordinance, that was put in place to protect our herons.
On a regular basis we watch the city council ignore Gig Harbor’s Comprehensive Plan in favor of overdevelopment. This overdevelopment results in negative impacts. Do not let the disappearance of our majestic Gig Harbor herons become yet another loss.
The owner of the property our heronrie sits on is known for their kindness and generosity on other projects. They have provided value and various educational opportunities in those communities. What about a Heron Sanctuary, education center or park combination?
This would create a wonderful legacy and lasting gift to our community.
Citizens for the Preservation of Gig Harbor has offered to work with this family in finding a way to facilitate a purchase and create a Gig Harbor Heron Land Conservancy.
Our Gig Harbor herons are wild and majestic, and we need to honor them.