Cougars sighted on the West Side Trail.
Please be aware and keep your family safe.
  • Don’t leave small children unattended. When children are playing outdoors, closely supervise them and be sure they are indoors by dusk. 
  • Don’t feed wildlife and feral cats (domestic cats gone wild). This includes deer, raccoons, and other small mammals. Remember predators follow prey.
  • Close off open spaces under structures. Areas beneath porches and decks can provide shelter for prey animals.
  • Feed dogs and cats indoors. If you must feed outside, do so in the morning or midday, and pick up food and water bowls, as well as leftovers and spilled food, well before dark. Pet food and water attract small mammals that, in turn, attract cougars.
  • Keep dogs and cats indoors, especially from dusk to dawn. Left outside at night, small dogs and cats may become prey for cougars.
  • Use garbage cans with tight-fitting lids. Garbage attracts small mammals that, in turn, attract cougar.
Learn more about living with Wildlife, select the link below
WARNING: Do Not Feed the Wildlife
Feeding wildlife foods not available in their natural wild habitat can actually do more harm than good. Things like corn, apples and artificial feeds can disrupt their gut microbes which can lead to starvation when they are unable absorb essential nutrients.
Infectious Diseases of Raccoons
Raccoons in the United States are known to carry infectious diseases that can be transmitted to humans and animals that have contact with raccoons or their waste. Both young and mature raccoons can shed viruses, bacteria and parasites that when exposed to humans and animals can result in infections and disease. People should not handle raccoons or their waste without protection and appropriate training.
Raccoons expose humans to disease when handled or if there is exposure to bodily secretions or feces. Saliva, urine, feces and bites or scratches are the most common routes of exposure. Contamination of the environment and any materials used by the raccoons can also be a source. People who handle raccoons, who are bitten, scratched or exposed to their waste, should be aware of the potential health hazards.
Any person who has handled a raccoon of any age should consult a physician immediately. Individuals who have participated in the handling, care, feeding and cleaning of any raccoons should be evaluated for exposure to the following diseases and be informed of all the potential human health risks caused by wildlife and raccoons.
• Rabies: Rabies is a virus that is spread by contact with the saliva of a rabid animal or by being scratched or bitten by a rabid animal. Raccoons are one of the most common species to carry rabies.
• Baylisascaris procyonis: (Bay-lis-asc-aris) The Raccoon Ascarid or roundworm is a parasite of the intestines of raccoons that sheds large numbers of eggs in the feces. Feces contaminated with eggs can become infective to humans after 2-4 weeks of incubation. Exposure to feces during handling, feeding and cleaning can cause a serious disease known as Visceral Larval Migrans and infection of the central nervous system. Oral ingestion of infective stages of eggs is the primary route of exposure.
• Giardiasis: Giardia species is a microscopic protazoal infection that can be transmitted by a wide variety of animals. Raccoons can carry this organism in their feces and contaminate water, soil and surfaces. Humans can contract Giardia by ingestion of infective cysts from contaminated animals and sources. Patients can develop severe gastrointestinal symptoms.
• Leptospirosis: Leptospira species is a bacterial infection that many animals and humans can contract and transmit. There are several different species of Leptospira that are found in wildlife, which is the primary source of contamination of the environment with these bacteria. Raccoons can shed Leptospirosis in their urine and secretions. Exposure of these excretions to open wounds or orally can cause infection to humans.
Other bacterial diseases (such as Salmonella or E. Coli), fungus and rare parasites can also be a risk for illness in humans. People who handle, feed and clean up waste should be aware of the potential health hazards and practice aggressive hygiene and sanitation to prevent exposure of skin, eyes, mouth and body to infection. Physicians can assess individuals who may have been exposed and recommend appropriate actions to prevent disease.
For more information on raccoons and their diseases please visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov and search under Raccoon Zoonosis or the specific disease name.
The Pointe’s Wildflowers
The Pointe greenbelt does not feature an abundance of flowers, probably due to deer browsing, but we do have some. What follows is a field guide to some of our species.
Twin FlowerTwinflower
Moist shady areas, tiny flowers close to the ground, blooms all summer.
Orange Honeysuckle and Hairy Honeysuckle
Vines that grow in the midst of brush along side many trails huckleberries, prefers partial shade, blooms late spring and early summer.
Red Indian PaintbrushRed Indian Paintbrush
Prefers dry environment, can be seen in a few places high up on the bluffs north of the Bo’sun stairs in summer.
Columbia Tiger Lilly
Columbia Tiger Lily
Shade, moist places. May to August. Has been seen in Cuttysark lagoon. Also seen along the road just outside the Pointe gate. A Spectacular flower, please do not pick! Leave them for the next person to see and enjoy!
Yellow Violets
Very low-growing tiny plants can be seen along the trails in shady moist areas. Spring and early summer blooms.
Additional Resources