Jolly Old Saint Nick was waving to the crowds at the annual Santa Claus Parade last year. See him Friday Nov. 20 in Haliburton.

Our EditorialOur EditorialCrosswalk solution

Sanctuary comes through again
By Jenn Watt

Published July 3 2018

The Highlands’ own Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary made headlines again this week as Monika Melichar made her way to Ottawa to assist the Bluesfest organizers in saving a killdeer nest.

The bird’s nest was directly in the path of the main stage of the huge music festival and needed to be moved out of the way. If the bird decided not to return to the nest the eggs would need to be incubated. Problem is very few organizations have the special permit to incubate the eggs of migratory birds.

Thinking she was going to Ottawa to gather the eggs Melichar found herself instead working to move the nest at painstakingly small increments.

And it worked. On Saturday she got the news that three of the four eggs had hatched. The next day the fourth egg also hatched but at that point the mother and her three chicks had left. The Wild Bird Care Centre in Ottawa is taking care of the fourth chick until it’s ready to go out on its own.

This is the second high-profile save from Melichar in the last six months. Readers will recall the deer that was found wandering Haliburton with an arrow protruding from its head. Melichar was instrumental in organizing its capture and rehabilitation in Muskoka. (The deer named Mirabelle is still recovering at the sanctuary there.)

As we’ve previously written the Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary operates on a few grants and public donations. There is no government funding for this kind of work.

If you value what they’re doing consider donating. Without wildlife sanctuaries there would be no one available for wild animals in distress. And after last week’s rescue it’s obvious just how important their service is.

Crosswalk solution

It’s becoming obvious that obstacles are plentiful when it comes to creating a crosswalk at the corner of York/Cedar Ave. and Highland St. in Haliburton.

Last week Dysart et al council discussed the courtesy pedestrian crosswalk which was planned in 2015 but never came to pass. Turns out legislation has changed and courtesy crosswalks are no longer part of Highway Traffic Act or Ontario Traffic Manual.

Councillors discussed options for pedestrian safety which included signage and road painting.
Even if the option of a courtesy crosswalk is no longer available something needs to be done about this stretch of road. With the bustling farmers’ market and the business coming in and out of Baked and Battered along with the draw of the park and the already busy intersection we need something to be done.

The Echo office sits at the corner of this busy intersection and one staff member here likens the challenge of getting across the road to the video game Frogger. You feel like you’re taking a big risk when you cross the street – especially in the summer.

Signage is a great start. Council will need to keep an eye on the problem and be willing to continue working on it until we find a way of making that stretch of Main Street safer.

Another note on traffic: Since the skate park opened on Mountain Street more kids are crossing the street near the municipal building. Keep your eyes peeled when you’re driving around the bend onto Maple Ave. A lot of those kids are on scooters and skateboards and might not see you.