Beach Road, Nature Center & Deer Crossing

After finishing my morning errands, which included taking photos of the “Deer Crossing on Adams Road, I went for a bike ride on Beach Road, a favorite ride since moving to the Detroit area 35 years ago.

The snip shows the location of Lloyd Stage Nature Center, a Hundred Acre Wood acquired by Troy, Michigan in the 1970s. The house which served as the nature center building for many years had been the home of a doctor who lived on 23 of the 100 acres. In 1981 the nature center was named after Lloyd Stage, a long-time community volunteer. A larger building replaced the house in 2002.

Trails totaling 1.6 miles take the visitor through forests, meadows and marsh along the Rouge River. Nature programs for kids and families include maple syrup making in the spring.

Troy’s Nature Center is a true treasure. Most of the city (roughly 6 miles square) is residential, with houses, condos, and apartments. Office buildings and businesses line the major streets, along with Somerset Mall and some light industrial areas. The city’s population of 84,000 has a net increase of 52,000 because of daytime commuting to work.

The nature center has long had chicken wire enclosures to protect some of the native plants from the deer. Twenty years ago one of the naturalists remarked that a neighbor told her that “some of your deer got out.” Deer don’t respect fences shorter than eight feet and generally go where they want!

The herd size has increased over the years. The only predators faced by deer in Troy are vehicles. We do have coyotes which sometimes threaten pets, but they cannot bring down a healthy deer. As development returned to Troy after the recession (a ten year drought for SE Michigan), more of their habitat was lost.

Note that the Adams Road location of my 2016 deer incident is on the opposite side of I-75 as the Nature Center. Urban expressways are usually pretty good barriers, although there still are Deer Vehicle Crashes.

This is part 3 of a series on deer overpopulation and safety. What to do about it is the topic for future articles. Here are links for Part 1 and Part 2.

Thanks to Lorraine Campbell of the Troy Historic Village for providing history of the Lloyd Stage Nature Center. More details are available in the Historical Society archives.

Note the snip was taken from Google maps.

#deer #wildlife #deeroverpopulation #TroyNatureCenter