Laveen neighborhood petitioning for owl preserve

A neighborhood in Laveen filed a petition to create a burrowing owl preserve near Rogers Ranch Park but the city says there's no evidence of owls there.
Published: Nov. 18, 2023 at 9:37 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A neighborhood in Laveen really gives a “hoot” about their owls. The Rogers Ranch 2 HOA recently filed a petition to create an owl preserve near the school. In the city’s empty piece of land, dozens of Burrowing Owls have made it their home. “We’ve been told there’s been as many as 17 here at one time at the peak season. The owls love this place,” said neighbor Michael Norton.

This summer, city maintenance crews bladed the property to eradicate or control Stinknet weeds that infested the region. Roger’s Ranch HOA says that the owl burrows on the property were wiped out the next morning because of the blading. When the owls came back, the neighborhood wanted to create a way to keep the owls safe. “We want to make sure they’re not going to go extinct and that they do have the ability to populate,” said neighbor Dana Kenney.

Arizona’s Family reached out to the city of Phoenix for comment. They said, “Parks and Recreation staff certified in Burrowing Owl Management, as well as staff from the City’s Office of Environmental Programs (OEP), have visited the site regularly for the past 5 months, and as recently as Tuesday, November 14, and have found no evidence of burrowing owl presence or active owl nests on the vacant park property.”

Since 2003, the city of Phoenix has kept the nearly 16-acre property empty. Neighbors say they’ve pushed to have a park in the area, but the city says it doesn’t have enough funding to build one. They hope that protecting the owls and building a safe place for the community will come in the upcoming years. “We’re building in their land, so we need to make sure they have a place where they can safely be,” Kenney said.

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