This is a story about our Bayridge neighbourhood. Not very long ago, we had a big forest and marsh area, surrounded by many houses.
And then, 19 years ago, a school was built with a playground, soccer field and a large grass area. People brought their children, grandchildren and great-grand children. One bigger forest was left for us nature lovers, a smaller one for folks to walk through or sit in the shade of the over hanging tree branches.
With the school came terrible graffiti, weekend parties, broken bottles and lots of garbage but, on the whole, a lovely spot for the neighbourhood children and grown-ups.
And then, this spring, “big ideas” sprung from someone’s mind: “Let’s put a very high chain link fence around the small forest.”
If you sit in the grass outside the fence, you can still see the branches of the trees in the distance.
And if you are lucky you might even spot a bird.
Well, that big fence is a big eyesore.
But not to worry, children, even though the adults did such a silly thing as putting the beautiful trees behind six-foot fences, these lovely trees will still be able to contribute to our healthier environment.
Of course, fences that large come with a big expense. Next spending spree for us. Dig up the ground under the swings, bring in men, machines, pipes and a mountain of wood chips. Take out all the pea gravel, dig, weed, put in a large cement barrier. Ouch, that could hurt when you fall on it, you could lose a tooth – but then there is always the tooth fairy.
Let’s just hope that someone’s big ideas turn out to be in everyone’s best interest, and we all hope that next year’s budget will not be big enough to have another “big idea” happen in or around our neighbourhood forests.
Heidi Bumann, Surrey