Concerns for The Nine Mile Creek Natural Habitat

Edina does not have an overabundance of natural areas - especially wetlands. At this time there are two endangered species living in and along Nine Mile Creek - the Blanding's Turtle (our state reptile) and the Cricket Frog. Further threatened species include the soft shell turtle and the snapping turtle. In the area along Nine Mile Creek the wetlands host Owls, Egrets, Fox, Loons, returning families of Wood Ducks, Deer, and countless species of birds that continue to thrive in this setting. It is difficult to imagine any of these habitats, (particularly those already endangered) thriving after construction of an elevated boardwalk trail is implemented along the Creek. Not only would these animals be displaced, but many of them would disappear completely, or stand to be destroyed during the building process. An enlarged aerial view of the area where the proposed path will run shows countless numbers of mature trees that will be lost if the trail along the Creek becomes a reality. One of Edina's greatest assets is the beautiful mature trees that thrive along our streets, homes, and along the Creek. We are devastated when storms or tornados take them from us, yet this plan fully embraces the radical thought of simply cutting them down to make way for a trail. Bicyclists and walkers alike need to weigh the incredible beauty of Nine Mile Creek in it's natural setting against the destruction of that beauty and the habitat that thrives there. We have many sidewalks and roadways that could far more easily be adapted to incorporate a path without the kind of destruction that is being proposed along the Creek. 

Pollution feeding the creek including road salt, fertilizer, and trash continue to be issues the Nine Mile Creek community struggles with while trying to keep the Creek healthy. A recent Star Tribune article indentifies that there are concerns about road salt finding its way into 9 Mile Creek as recent studies have found current levels to be well above safe levels for wildlife. If the proposed path is built, keeping it clear of snow, ice and other natural elements will certainly require even more chemicals that will ultimately end up in the Creek adding further to an already existing problem that threatens the life of the Creek. Where is the environmental impact study for this project confirming that wetlands, wildlife, plant life and natural habitat along the Nine Mile Creek will not be harmed, destroyed or otherwise compromised by a bike path being built along the Creek? 

Our community should treasure and do everything possible to maintain one of the greatest natural resources we have in Edina - Nine Mile Creek and the Wetlands and Marshes that surround it.