Maher Sanctuary News

Maher Work Days

by Chris Baer

Tentative work day may happen on Thursday, November 21. Stay tuned.


Last Maher Workday was a Success

by Chris Baer

Saturday, April 6, was a gift of beautiful weather and a great group of more-than-willing workers. Nineteen boards of the boardwalk were pried, pulled and ripped out and replaced by new ones. Armed with crowbars, wonderbars, hammers, drills and a Sawzall, workers accomplished the task in record time. But, they did not want to quit and stayed to rake leaves, dirt and dead grass off the boardwalk. Some used shovels to scrape mud and debris from where high water this past year flooded the boardwalk. Also that morning the North Country Trail people conducted a hike that covered the loop through Maher along with the Dolan Preserve (Michigan Nature Association). I learned later that 73 people participated in the hike. They were very appreciative of our efforts.
Maher workers included: Cynthia Davidek, Chris Sherman, Ruth Fridsma, Sheryl and Keith Helmus, Todd Smith, Shawn and Jeni Taheri, and Jeff Neumann.
Thank you all!

Bird Boxes Cleaned at Maher

March 27 Linda Damstra and Chris Baer were monitoring and cleaning the bird boxes and found most were used and successful in 2018. Swallows and bluebirds occupied most while wrens sometimes built their towers of sticks later in the summer. We replaced one derelict box in the “prairie”.

Note: Right after the workday it was learned that the bridge that spans the artesian stream fell almost into it. Did you know that when the North Country Trail has a hike on their trails a National Park Service representative walks the trails beforehand? This person found the broken bridge. The bridge was repaired the week of April 18 by Rook’s Landscaping crew (they love the Sanctuary) in time for the Woodpecker Festival walks.

Maher Details

Questions and information about the Maher sanctuary can be E-mailed to

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Location Map

The Maher Sanctuary is located on the southwest corner of Woodschool Rd. and 108th St. on the border of Kent and Barry Counties.



From Grand Rapids take I-96 east to Lowell. Exit at the Lowell exit and take Alden Nash Ave. south to 100th St. Proceed east 1/2 mile on 100th to Baker Ave. Turn right and go one mile south on Baker, which becomes Woodschool at 108th St. This is the Barry County line. The Maher Sanctuary is located on the southwest corner of Woodschool and 108th. Turn right on 108th and look for the parking area on the left (south) side of the road about 1/4 mile west of Woodschool.