I even received a call from a former official asking me how I could suggest such a thing. Well, at the time in the late 80's, a few states had already outlawed the plant. Once it invades a wetland, good luck to anything else surviving. You can no longer sell it or bring it into Michigan.
We eventually agreed to name 'Trillium Grandiflorum' as the new Township flower, which was abundant in the township nature preserve. Check out the photos here. I have heard that the deer have eaten many of theses plants in recent years. Guess no one told them the plants were protected.
The other species to get replaced was the Bobolink. I had lived here since 1972 and had never seen even one. The idea of replacing this bird with another, as yet unnamed, species caused even more of an uproar. Must have been a slow news day, for I even heard from the Lansing Journal. My phone rang off the hook. 'Oh, what a lovely bird. How could you!'
I would ask the caller if they had actually ever seen one in West Bloomfield. 'Well, no, but they used to be here'. Well, so were dinosaurs. I thought of this incident because the latest issue of Defenders Magazine had a 'Speciesspotlight' on the Bobolink. It says they were at their peak in the horse and buggy era, but their populations have dimished.
Our Township Bird is now the black-capped chickadee. Yes, common, ordinary, everyday chickadee. So what is wrong with having a township bird that everyone can see and recognize?