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Heights Neighbors Save Old Oaks and Protected Birds

A pair of century-old live oak trees and a family of yellow-crowned night herons will continue to call a Heights-area neighborhood “home” thanks to a last minute effort by local civic organization. Penny Fiederlein lives just down the street from 1414 Ashland, just a couple of blocks east of Shepherd in the Heights. She’s peering […]

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A pair of century-old live oak trees and a family of yellow-crowned night herons will continue to call a Heights-area neighborhood “home” thanks to a last minute effort by local civic organization.

Penny Fiederlein lives just down the street from 1414 Ashland, just a couple of blocks east of Shepherd in the Heights. She’s peering up into a giant oak tree, pointing to a nest and a protected yellow-crowned night heron standing guard there.

The story of the oaks and herons goes back a few years. The trees have been there since before the Heights became a neighorhood and birds have been visiting for a number of seasons now. When the owners of the 10,000 square foot lot decided to sell recently, a developer was ready to buy it, tear out the trees, and build two or three new homes on the property.

Kent Marsh is the president of the Houston Heights Association, a volunteer civic organization that was able to make a back-up offer and now owns the property, along with the historic live oaks there.

The association plans to redevelop the property, and then put it back up for sale, with the stipulation that the trees and the birds stay. Meanwhile, Fiderlein serves as an unofficial tour guide to bird watchers who slow down as they pass the oaks and the herons. She says since the controversy, the trees have become a favorite stop for people who want to see the herons and their nests.

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Jack Williams

News Anchor

Jack is back in Houston after some time away working in public radio and television in Lincoln, Nebraska. Before leaving for the Midwest, he worked in various roles at Houston Public Media from 2000-2016, including reporting, hosting and anchoring. Jack has also worked in commercial news radio in Houston, Austin...

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