Social, economic and personal reasons to support a cull in Ann Arbor

There was a good turnout for the public meeting (April 16); with majority of public who spoke in favor of culling the deer. Here are my public comments, if interested. Thank you for reading (it is not too long):

Good Evening. My name is Erich Jensen. I live at 1820 Crestland near Stadium and Packard, well within the city limits in Ward 3. I have lived at the same house for 30 years and NEVER saw deer on/near my property until now. There have been 3 backyard sightings of 3-6 deer in the last 30 days. They enjoyed my tulips. They were on my patio.

I support the culling/eliminating deer within the city limits immediately for 3 main reasons, social, economic and personal.

First, I coordinate St Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church (on Washtenaw across from Tappan Middle School) sustainable garden which provides annually up to 200 lbs of fresh produce to Foundation Preschool each summer. This preschool serves children of at risk low income single head of household families. The deer have already decimated the food producing plants (blueberry, raspberry brambles) this winter, and the vegetables aren’t even planted yet. There are also several other garden plots maintained by other groups in my neighborhood who donate produce to those in need.

Second, as Washtenaw Master Gardener I work with a team of volunteers at Cobblestone Farms beautifying the historic house and the events barn gardens (i.e., weddings on Th, F, Sa and Su nearly every week outdoors from April to October). The brides and their mothers, in particular, appreciate the gardens for photo back drops and have said so. Jessica Black, the manager of these events, has stated that our work has increased revenues and bookings which have amounted to well over a hundred thousands of dollars for the city of Ann Arbor, on a property that is part of the park system (Buhr Park). The deer are present there, too. There is also a Project Grow garden on the property.

Lastly, I am converting my garden to higher percentage of native plants per Wildflower Association of Michigan influence to increase pollinators and refuge for other wildlife (insects, birds and butterflies) but not deer who are destroying these new plants.

Please consider a quick, humane, cost effective way of reducing the herds for their starving and safety sake, too. Thank you.

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