Richard Palker, 75, said his request to protect milkweed plants on land the company leased from him in Lafayette Township for the NEXUS pipeline was honored.
NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE Enlarge
LAFAYETTE TWP. — One township resident said he is pleased with the efforts of crews building the NEXUS pipeline to protect a butterfly habitat on land the natural gas company leased from him.
“I told (NEXUS) what was going on. I came back and there was a fence around it,” Richard Palker said Thursday. “They didn’t have to do that.”
Palker, 75, who lives in the 5400 block of Carlton Road, said he has grown Christmas trees on his property for more than 30 years, and a patch of milkweed sprang up about four years ago.
Soon thereafter, Palker watched a TV show about the monarch butterfly, and how it uses the tall green milkweed plant as both food and a habitat. He decided to let the plant grow.
Palker said the plant would not be easy to relocate to another area of his property.
“They are almost impossible to transplant because it is all a long root system,” he said. “I’m into butterflies now. I’ve got this big system. Next year it should be twice as big.”
Palker said he has had a positive experience with NEXUS, and appreciates the efforts the company took to honor his request.
“They leased it; they could have been p——- about it,” he said.
NEXUS spokesman Adam Parker said in an email Thursday that since the project was first proposed in 2014, NEXUS has made efforts to work with land owners affected by the pipeline’s construction.
“We strive to understand issues from the landowners’ perspective and accommodate reasonable requests when possible,” Parker said.
He said the company is “committed to working with landowners to partner as environmentally conscious stewards of the land so that it can be maintained for the use and enjoyment of future generations.”
Palker said if butterfly habitats are not sustained, monarchs eventually will not be around anymore.
“I am a grandpa now and I want my grandkids to see butterflies,” he said.
The $2.1 billion NEXUS pipeline, first proposed in August 2014, is a business partnership of Detroit-based DTE Energy and Spectra Energy, which is owned by Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge Inc.
The pipeline, which will travel through Ohio into Michigan and a hub in Canada, has met opposition along the way including from the Coalition to Reroute NEXUS, and Sustainable Medina County, which is raising funds to check air quality around the compressor station being built in Guilford Township.
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