Let’s attract wildlife, not run it off


Comments to Parks Commissioner Oct. 14, 2009

Thank you for supporting language that adds wildlife concepts to the Warner Park plan. We will have to fight for each concept, I understand. I hope the process will be transparent and fair.

There are three quick points that I’d like the commission and staff to think about.

1) Anyone who has ever walked through Warner Park knows that wildlife, including ducks and geese, run or fly away, and find refuge, in the water. That’s the one place that kids or dogs can’t reach them. Now imagine putting canoes or paddleboats in that refuge. Do you think that birdlife will stay around? No. They will leave. They will abandon nests. They will try to find somewhere else to survive. You might as well pave over the wetland, as put boats in, from a wildlife point of view. If people want to boat there’s an entire lake a quarter-mile away.

2) I’d like to ask Supt. Briski why his staff has such an incessant desire to cut down and mow parts of this park that, in the master plan, are to be left uncut. Sealed away in his magnificent mowing machine, the operator is destroying frogs, mice, and bird eggs and making dry and barren a meadow that could hold moisture, grow food, provide home for critters, and create wonderful wildlife viewing.

Just last week, your staff cut down a hedgerow that was growing up through the dog park fence-line. It was full of shade, shelter, flowers, fruit, bugs and birds. It now looks like Afghanistan. Why?

Also, this plan still includes language that the woods should be cleared for safety reason. There is no evidence whatsoever for these rumors. Suzie Gonzalez, the neighborhood police officer reports, “I am not aware of any crime in Warner Park. I haven’t received any calls for service in Warner Park.” In short there are no boogy-men, and no drug dealers, in the bushes. Don’t cut them down because of someone’s fears.

3) Lastly, I’d like our city to remember, that each time you draw a sidewalk, or a parking lot, or cover an inch of ground, or call for a tree and bush to be cut — anything that takes another nick out of the wild side of Warner — you are killing something – in our park. Warner Park has 500,000 human visitors a year. I plead with you that the next time you touch Warner Park, make it something that attracts wildlife. I guarantee it will enrich both the ecosystem and our lives.