Now that spring is here and the turtles are out sunning themselves again, the Celery Farm Natural Area's paths will be well-traveled again, and that's great.
The one-mile loop around the lake is a nifty place to go birding, to take a walk, to enjoy those amazing carved snakes -- or to just chill.
But over the course of the year, it's almost guaranteed that some folks will insist on wandering off the trail, or picking the flowers, or -- heaven forbid -- feeding the Canada geese and mallards.
Should you come across an errant individual, you might gently remind them that:
- It's a bad idea to wander off the trail because a person is far more likely to get deer ticks or poison ivy, and because the Celery Farm is a nature refuge with plenty of nesting birds and other critters who could be harmed by a heavy-footed human.
- It's a bad idea to pick the wildflowers and cattails and other plants because they belong to everyone who visits the Celery Farm. It's a nature refuge, not a pick-your-own nursery.
- It's a bad idea to feed the Canada geese and ducks for several reasons. In fact, it's against the law in Allendale, and it's bad for the waterfowl. They become reliant on people for food and start acting like they are domesticated -- swimming toward humans when they see them instead of flying away, and hanging around the entire year.
The one thing to keep in mind is that this simple code of conduct for the Celery Farm applies just about everywhere where there are trails and woods and people.
In short, be considerate. :-)