Nature’s protectors: Urban Forestry Team safeguards local wildlife

Updated March 21, 2024
Mama duckIt was a typical day at the Roseville Corporation Yard as Riley Cook, a tree trimmer with a keen eye for detail, went about his job, moving mulch in preparation for an upcoming project. While sorting through the pile, his attention was drawn to an unusual sight—a duck had made an unlikely choice for her nesting grounds, laying an egg in the middle of the mulch. Riley, trained for such situations, swiftly set up a safety zone and shared his discovery with others on the Urban Forestry Team.

The Urban Forestry Team is dedicated not only to the preservation of trees, but also to the protection of wildlife that call trees and surrounding areas home. Urban Forester Michael Neuman leads the team with a passion for both nature and community. He ensures they are well-equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to handle wildlife encounters that might occur during their work. 

Duck eggRiley joined the team a year ago. Little did he know that his training in nesting surveys would soon be put to the test, "I never expected to stumble upon a duck nesting in our mulch pile, but thanks to the training I received, I knew exactly how to handle the situation." 

Thanks to Riley’s swift action, the mama duck continues faithfully guarding her precious egg and the team patiently awaits the new arrival. 

Meanwhile, across town at Royer Park, another wildlife encounter took place. During tree pruning,Owl in tree contract workers unexpectedly discovered a nesting owl. Like Riley, they too had undergone wildlife awareness training, and upon spotting the owl from their aerial lift truck, they immediately stopped work to avoid disturbing the beautiful (and well camouflaged) bird. 

"Encounters like these are usually discovered during the pre-work wildlife survey, but our workers remain vigilant throughout their tasks in case of unexpected nesting," explained Arborist Technician Jonathan Godman. "It's not uncommon for us to stumble upon nests a handful of times each season. Over the years, we've come across many wildlife species, nesting or not, including owls, hawks, hummingbirds, turkeys, killdeer, rabbits, river otters, raccoons, skunks, pheasants, deer, coyotes and many other creatures."

"These instances highlight the importance of wildlife awareness training," commented Michael. “It allows us to carry out our work while minimizing our impact on the wildlife that shares our city."

Featured Stories