Mississippi Flyway chapter removes woody growth at Millroad Marsh
By: Ron Kaufman
Fulton- The Mississippi Flyway chapter of Waterfowl USA recently took measures to remove trees and brush from a local wetland project. Millroad Marsh is located along US route 30 and was intended to provide nesting and habitat for waterfowl. The property was purchased with Illinois State Duck stamp funds, a donation from the Quad City Conservation Alliance and Waterfowl USA chapter funds. After the purchase was complete it became property of the state of Illinois and is overseen by the Morrison Rockwood Park. The area holds a mix of permanent wetlands, drainage ditches and upland habitat. Over the years willows and small trees have established on the edges of the marsh and into the retired fields surrounding the marsh.
Waterfowl rely on acres of upland habitat to establish nests and the woody growth was overtaking the available area. To clear out the trees the chapter had Morrison Blacktop look over the project. An excavator with a thumb was brought in and the trees was pulled out and piled for burning later. The goal of the chapter is to provide both artificial and natural nesting areas for waterfowl. The area has wood duck nest, goose floats and mallard nest tubes. When the area was originally purchased small nesting islands was created for nesting geese. An adjacent landowner followed up by excavating two large areas with an island in the middle for nesting waterfowl and many trees was cleaned up that could provide predators like raccoons a safe haven.
The project near Fulton is one of many that the chapter has a stake in. The wetland and waterfowl conservation group has used funds from its banquets to help several landowners with the cost of building and improving wetlands.