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Portage Lakes Purple Martin Association

KiwanisTwilight Boat Rides

TWILIGHT BOAT RIDES We are now taking reservations for Nimisila Twilight Boat Rides to see the premigratory roost. Last year we had a bumper crop of fledglings. At one point it was estimated to be about 50,000 birds. Most evenings there were at least 30,000 birds. It is one of nature's most spectacular events. Rides start August 1st thru 31st. The rides are sponsored by Portage Lakes Kiwanis with PLPMA beneficiary. Christina Voigt is in charge of reservations. Telephone her at: 330-310-7325. The cost of the ride is $30.00 per person. It is advised that reservations be made early as the rides generally sell out. The boat holds 8 people, if you wish to reserve a whole boat load. A second boat has been donated to us, but needs extensive rehab and refurbishing. Anyone wishing to donate funds for this purpose should call Larry Hunter at: 330-644-1540. or contact him by mail: Larry Hunter, 4737 Bickford Avenue, New Franklin, OH 44319. The cost to refurbish a pontoon boat, including batteries, electric motor and charger runs into several thousand dollars.

Nimisila Sunset
The birds settle in for the night.

Boat Rides in Jeopardy?

When we moved to this area about 25 years ago, we rhapsodized about the Portage Lakes, but especially Nimisila. A beautiful and tranquil little piece of paradise, it was surrounded by trees and boasted quiet fishermen on boats without gasoline motors peacefully enjoying the serenity.

Not too long after we were very disappointed to see the majority of the trees along S. Main Street cut down. We were told it was to stabilize the surrounding ground, but we had never heard of cutting trees down leading to stabilization, quite the opposite. People plant trees to give stability.

Soon after that a walking trail was put along the lake. Let it be noted that there are multiple walking trails in this area, but only one peaceful reservoir.

Each year, in August, we have been privileged to enjoy the staging of the Purple Martins as they start on their migratory path south. The absolute exultation that comes from watching these birds in their peaceful pursuits is beyond description. If you have been on one of the twilight boat rides, you know.

Although they state it was to clear out the underbrush, once again the powers that be have ravaged the beauty that is Nimisila. Now it is trees on the north end of the lake that have been devoured by opportunistic land grabbers. An ugly gaping hole now exists there.

It is in their plans to extend their greed to the south end of the lake. To replace tranquility with still another walking path, destroying habitat and grabbing the land of residents by virtue of "eminent domain". They call it a "loop" but most of those who love Nimisila would call it a noose.

It will strangle the natural environment. It will destroy the serenity, peace and quiet that is left, and replace it with noise and garbage left by intrusive and uncaring humans. Wildlife will have lost this bountiful refuge. Birds like the Purple Martins that have the area on their migratory map, will look elsewhere.

So this year, my friends, enjoy the boat rides. They may not last.