A Friend To Greenway Wildlife

                The deer and the dragonflies that dance through the Hansville Greenway’s Otter Meadow have Dennis Kommer to thank for their good health and happiness.

                Dennis, who owns Dennis Kommer Excavating LLC, donates his time, energy and equipment year after year to mow and preserve the Greenway’s two meadows that provide food for wildlife.

                “There’s very little animal life in the forest,” says Howie O’Brien, who’s in charge of projects for the Greenway Association, “The meadows allow grazing for deer. Small rodents nest there. Owls love to hunt in the meadows.”

                Dennis spent an entire day in October mowing Otter Meadow, near the start of the trails by the Community Center, and Bear Meadow at the Greenway’s northwestern end. Decades ago, a farmer razed the forest to create the meadow for cattle grazing. When the land became the Hansville Greenway, the association chose to maintain Otter Meadow and Bear Meadow to give wildlife a chance.

                That requires annual mowing, mostly to remove invasive blackberries, and digging out red alders that would take over the meadows in no time.

                “Dennis can accomplish more in an hour than we could in a day,” Howie says. “Without him, it’s very difficult for us. He has the right equipment.”

                Howie complements Dennis’s work with his own dedication to keeping the red alders in check. Dennis leaves patches of Douglas spirea in both meadows and that’s where the red alders wisely sprout. Howie now digs them out by the roots 40 or 50 at a time.

                “A lot more life expresses itself in the meadows,” Howie says. “We thank Dennis for all his efforts.”

Cynthia Taggart