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Subject:My Reply on Sax-Zim Bog Welcome Center
From:Michael Hendrickson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Michael Hendrickson <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 3 Nov 2011 16:07:30 -0700

Why does the "Welcome Center"
I would like to reply to Sparky's reply.

Why does the "Welcome Center" building need to built on bog habitat?  Why not rent one of the many rooms or vacant buildings in Meadowlands? Here are the positives about using Meadowlands as a location for the Welcome Center building. 1. Less intrusive on bog habitat 2. Less costs for building permits, building materials, land purchase price, utilities costs, septic tank costs, insurance cost and ect.. 3. Meadowlands is closer to Apple Ridge School in Alborn and Floodwood Schools than locations in the bog itself. 4. The Welcome Center would greatly enhance and benefit the community of Meadowlands being located in town rather than 10-12 miles away from Meadowlands. 5. Rent is cheaper than building a new site.

Also there is a Sax-Zim Bog kiosk already in place in Meadowlands and Friends of Sax-Zim Bog can work along with Duluth Audubon Society to improve this kiosk to contain more information and checklists and other material.

Also the Minnesota DNR - local Non-Game Department can work with Friends of Sax-Zim Bog organization to set up bird feeding stations in the bog and provide some pull outs as well. About 2 years ago the iron range branch of the DNR Non Game Dept called me offered me about creating some pull outs for feeding stations.  It would have less destruction on the habitat and provide areas where photographers and birders can enjoy the splendors of winter birds.

I personally feel very strongly that Friends of Sax-Zim Bog organization should consider renting or purchasing one of the buildings in Meadowlands as a Welcome Center.  With the money they have raised now they could possibly get a center up and running by January.  A welcome center in Meadowlands would have a lot of benefits because you would have warm indoor toilets, possibly a kitchen to serve hot coffee and warm up, a sightings board and so much more! Also Trailside Bar & Grill is located next to many vacant buildings and local business like Trailside will benefit from the visitors too!  You will get more community support and you could even hold events at this center to raise money to latter on purchase land in the bog.

Yes I created this idea of having a bog boardwalk that would connect McDavitt Rd with the Admiral Rd which is less than a mile across.  I was in the process of working on it with someone but then when I heard Friends of Sax-Zim Bog was going to erect boardwalks around or near the Welcome Center I felt they took my idea that I was preaching about for nearly 3 years, so I gave it up and hope Friends of Sax-Zim Bog can go with it.  

Yes I signed the prepared supporting project letter that one of our festival board members created for Sparky and I did so reluctantly because I have so many questions about the project.  I sent Sparky my concerns back in September ( the next day after signing the letter ) with numerous questions about the project and I have yet to get a reply from him. I even shared those questions with the person who wrote the supportive letter to be passed on to Sparky and no reply.  I tried to have a sit down meeting with Sparky to discuss the project and no reply.

By the way, the more I think about it.. I should of thought about this welcome center long ago to be located in Meadowlands because there is space in the Art Colony in Meadowlands. but that would stealing someone's idea like the bog boardwalk but ooops that already has happen. Anyway all the wood floors have been refurnished and its located next to Trailside Bar & Grill.  Lots of parking outside, indoor restrooms, possible kitchen area, large enough to hold small presentations..have the DNR create some pull outs, add some feeders and wallah I have a welcome center, a place to bring birders and photographers plus local community support and already built Sax-Zim Bog Kiosk down the block from me.  It will hardly cost the organization to do this and they can get it going by January 2012.  This is something I would support!  Its also another GREAT idea just like the bog boardwalk to enhance Sax-Zim Bog.  

So I am pulling my support for a new welcome center to built in bog habitat even if they own the land they intend to build on.  Why not just own the land and use Meadowlands as a location for the welcome center??

Just my hopefully final thought on this topic

 Mike Hendrickson

Duluth, Minnesota

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