Stay off the dune

When a water main burst near Water Tank Hill this past March, it caused terrible damage and left a huge, ugly gash in the side of the hill.
Aug 20, 2013

In a first step toward restoring the hillside, the city spent more than $230,000 to make repairs, then to restore the hillside. Much of that restoration involved bringing in tons of sand from City Beach to fill in the gash in the hill.

The city is in the process of planting a variety of trees in an attempt to stabilize the loose sand.

In the meantime, the city has placed signs asking people to stay off the hill.

That hasn’t happened. Instead, people have used the hill as their own giant sandbox, climbing up the loose sand and causing a great deal of erosion.

The city has considered stepping up police patrols in the area in order to nab those who ignore the signs asking people to stay off the dunes.

We would urge them to go a step further and liberally hand out tickets to those who cause damage to the hillside.

This isn’t the type of situation that’s up for interpretation. Stay off the hill, or pay a fine. Period.

In the meantime, the city might consider planting some quick-growing dune grass to help anchor the sand in place. This might be a quicker fix to the erosion problem while the planned 119 trees — red oak, sugar maple, black cherry and hemlock — take hold.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.
 

Comments

LessThanAmused

"In the meantime, the city might consider planting some quick-growing dune grass to help anchor the sand in place. This might be a quicker fix to the erosion problem while the planned 119 trees — red oak, sugar maple, black cherry and hemlock — take hold".

What an original thought Tribune people....I posted this suggestion a couple weeks ago.

http://www.grandhaventribune.com...

For the record I do agree with your summation and would be willing to bet that if the trees are planted without stabilizing the open dune area first with dune grass that in 3 years most of the trees will be dead and or falling over from the unstabilized open dune area. It's gonna be a long time if ever before there are mature trees in that area again. Even if people weren't walking there you'd still have the natural forces of nature to contend with and over the course of my life I haven't seen too many dune blowouts that ever were reclaimed.

Oh and while I'm thinking about it....can't you find a photographer who can at least submit a picture that's in focus? I miss the days when Andy Loree was shooting pics for the paper. The photo's I've seen in the last year look to have been shot by a 3 year old...

Tri-cities realist

I too miss Andy, what happened to him, Kevin, Fred? Perhaps Len Painter could let us know in one of his upcoming articles.

A reporter with a camera just isn't the same, no offense to the reporters they just lack training and years of experience focusing solely on getting the shot.

LessThanAmused

You're too nice TCR. If one doesn't have the basic skills necessary to produce a focused shot (in these days of auto-focus and auto-everything else) and hold the camera level so the horizon isn't sliding down hill from left to right then I'm not sure training is practical. Maybe what the Tribune needs to do is have community photographers like their community article writers. They could toss out assignments and ask for submissions by their deadline. The results couldn't be any worse than what I've seen lately.

It's obvious that no editing is done either, everything on the media card is just dumped into a folder and posted to the article...we get 40 images in an article and 2/3's of the shots are redundant along with being out of focus and so poorly framed that one wonders just what exactly the subject matter is suppose to be....case in point was one of the recent car shows where most of the pics were of people, not of the cars and half of the car shots were framed so poorly it was hard to tell what it was.

For the record I'm not trying to be a snob. I've been a photographer all my life. Years ago I used to take a lot of photographs for the city's brochures and for quite a few years my photos graced the covers and the inside pages of the annual Tri-It guides plus other promotional projects done by the tourist association back in those days. Now that I'm retired I've thought about trying to get my foot back in the door, but all the folks there I used to know are more than likely long gone by now.

just-a-guy

Every time this subject comes up it makes the city sound ignorant.
"In the meantime, the city might consider planting some quick-growing dune grass to help anchor the sand in place". That would be the smart thing to do. Plant some beach grass and hire someone to blow a layer of straw on it. This isn't rocket science.

"This might be a quicker fix to the erosion problem while the planned 119 trees — red oak, sugar maple, black cherry and hemlock — take hold".
Trees will not grow in beach sand. Beach sand is sterile there is no organic matter, no nutrients. It also will not hold water. Trees will not grow on that hill. And unless they keep them well watered, they won't last six months. How are they going to water them with a fire hose? A sprinkler system? Some guy with a watering can?

LessThanAmused

Toooo late dude. I took the dogs out for a walk this afternoon and after parking at Mulligan's Hollow we headed up the old road to the top of watertank hill and witnessed that they had pretty much the whole area planted with their trees already.

I'd like to chuckle about it, but it's really not funny. What a boondoggle. I'm pretty sure the only folks that are going to be happy with the tree planting project are the folks who sold the trees to the city. They're making a killing....

It'd be so easy for the city fathers to get educated too....just a short trip to the nature center at Hoffmaster where they could spend a couple hours viewing their wonderful displays on dunes and their life cycle.

What a waste of tax dollars and perfectly good trees.

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