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Maple Grove Voice

Eastman Nature Center Discontinues Deer Watch

Jan 18, 2016 06:30PM ● By Wendy Erlien

Eastman Nature Center (Photo provided by Three Rivers Park District)

A popular winter program at Eastman Nature Center has been discontinued.

The annual ‘Deer Watch Program’ is no longer being offered, according to a Facebook post by Eastman Nature Center  on Jan. 11.

“We understand that it was a popular program, and that you may be disappointed, but it was a decision made in the interest of responsible stewardship. Families are still welcome to sit at the windows to watch for deer, and our staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have about our native deer,” they wrote on their Facebook page.

The decision was based on recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Three Rivers Park District Natural Resources Management Department.

The Eastman Nature Center stated the decision “was based on the following criteria,” according to their Facebook page:

  • When large numbers of deer congregate in small areas, it increases the chances of spreading diseases.
  • Feeding stations encourage deer to enter the park, which is not desired, as the park already has a large deer population.
  • Attracting deer to the nature center area increases the potential for over browsing of trees and shrubs.
  • Increased deer movement increases the potential for car/deer collisions as deer move in and out of the park. 

Eastman Nature Center, part of Elm Creek Park Reserve and Three Rivers Park District, was the only site that had a deer watch program. 

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