Why .. oh why … vandalism?
Why would anyone or any group take pleasure in destroying four trees planted just last Autumn in the area between Linwell Road and the Ina Grafton Gage Village bridge entrance? Four trees in a row, torn down, destroyed, cast aside and for what purpose?
It’s not just that these young trees have been destroyed but also the potential they had to create a shady pathway, to be sharing flowers in springtime to brighten the passing of winter, to provide habitat for birds, nesting sites, species to be identified, viewed, appreciated. Wanton destruction … did it give some individuals some sense of power, some sense of ‘play’ … did not the person or persons understand what their actions were taking from the many who enjoy the Parks? Where was the understanding that nature is to be appreciated, to create and support the wonder of nature’s ability to thrive, to be enjoyed for generations … where was the fascination with nature that was somehow missing from their consciousness as they went from tree to tree, bravely, in the dark, destroying.
Yes, it’s a matter of money … not incidentally but factually. The City provided the trees, arranged the contract to have them planted, volunteers with The Friends of Walkers Creek made sure the mulch circle was large enough to protect the trees from the mowing machines. And now the City crew has had to come and take up the stumps and consider replacement trees when so many other areas of the City are crying for new trees to be planted as the Ash trees disappear. Drive by Laura Secord Secondary school on Niagara street and see how the removal of the large Ash trees along the border of the parking area has turned the screened view to one of just dark boring asphalt. Look across Niagara Street into the old Arboretum and enjoy the contrast of preservation of the trees that remain as specimens of native growth. Now is a time when the preservation of the tree canopy must be seriously undertaken.
Yes, it might be a common assumption that ‘young people’ have been the perpetrators of this destruction … but before we condemn that age group, know there are adults who also take action to have trees die so as to improve their view into the Parks, who just add a few things at their yard’s end to increase their property enjoyment, who deposit their grass cuttings adjacent to the Creek causing pollution, who litter and some take their motorized vehicles into the Parks against those very same regulations.
Yes, thankfully there are many examples of people who have shown very positive interest in the Parks. Their volunteer labour planted over 400 trees and bushes last September as part of the TD Bank Foundation grant. The school children and the Cub and Scouts who have been involved in planting trees and bushes in the Parks. Imagine if you will, these folks, in decades to come, taking grandkids through the Parks and pausing to show the young ones the trees that “Grandpa” planted back in years past … ‘Grandpa’s tree’ becomes a memorial, a living symbol of respect and appreciation of nature for generations to come.
Please … no more vandalism in the Parks!!