When the topic of “neighborhood problems” comes up, beaver damage is not usually on the list. But one University City neighborhood is at war with the critters.
The Buckleigh neighborhood is walking distance from Reedy Creek Park, off of Rocky River Road. Neighborhood president Anton Shaw says their HOA has spent about $12,000 so far battling beaver damage and trying to catch them.
Right now, you can easily see four dams beavers have created in the Buckleigh neighborhood pond. “This is a huge problem for us because we can’t let the beavers continue to destroy the trees and the pond,” says Shaw. This has been a growing problem over the past four years. “When it rains the water level really rises in the pond.”
Shaw says the damage is very expensive because it includes clearing trees out of the pond, clearing out underbrush, stumps, trapping and more. The beavers have been very clever. They have been almost impossible to catch. Neighbors rarely see them. But, the damage is clear to see.
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The Buckleigh neighborhood, built in 2000, has 383 homes. The pond is on the western side of the development.
The neighborhood has competitions for best lawn and Christmas decorations. They sponsor an annual cookout and have movie nights at one of the two parks on the property.
The HOA website says: “The mission of the Buckleigh Homeowners Association is to increase the sense of community within our neighborhood and to provide our homeowners with a community that is attractive, family-oriented and safe to enhance our lifestyle and property values.”
The beavers are challenging the HOA on every front. Traps have not worked; folks who tried to hunt them have not been successful, either.
Shaw, president of the HOA for about five years, is frustrated.
Shaw says people enjoy fishing at the pond, which currently has bass, brim and sunfish. He said, “We plan to re-stock the pond with catfish to help keep it clean.” Next step to battle the beavers is to hire another trapper. They also plan to clear the largest of the four dams.
One website to help people learn about beavers (Beavers Wetlands & Wildlife) stated that, “The beaver’s ability to change the landscape is second only to humans.” It also said, “Wildlife rehabilitators find beavers to be gentle, reasoning beings who enjoy playing practical jokes.” If that is true, residents at Buckleigh are not laughing.
If you have helpful ideas to share with the Buckleigh neighborhood leaders go to www.buckleighhomeowners.com.