From time to time I like to take a few minutes to check out the multiple meanings of words in the English language. Today, restore was word I chose.
In part it means, to give back, (as something lost or taken away); to put or bring back as into existence or use; harmony among foes.
What a beautiful thought. Locally, there have been attempts tried to bring harmony among foes. The foes have been the uncontrolled corruption by civilization on our pristine natural resources. Civilizations insatiable appetite for more people, more housing, more infrastructure, has not only nibbled away at wetlands forests, water, but has been like an army of gourmands gobbling up every bit of nature that should have been preserved for future generations.
Grateful that there are those who have been and are trying to restore some of our natural treasures, I was happy to be included in an inspection tour of the Idlewild Park Restoration Project, although I really didnt know just what to expect.
The day chosen was a good one hot, but clear, and past the tick season by a few weeks. There were a few mosquitoes, but they had several dragonflies hunting them down for supper. The bees were too busy with the flowers to bother us, so all we really had to worry about was the poison ivy, which we discovered after we stood in it.
As soon as we arrived and parked, we noticed a wide patch of tall, wheat-like grass dancing to the rhythm of the gentle breeze that played across the soft, yellow sand. The second thing we noticed was a station wagon straddling the guard rail that had been put in place to keep vehicles, especially including dirt bikes, from breaking the law by intruding on that special property. If you, your associates, or anyone you hear about has already gone there, or is considering doing so, please negate that idea. Interfering with that particular project will cost A LOT OF MONEY! After years of being dumped on from construction work and discarded metal, such as illegally dumped cars, household appliances, and a variety of other debris, the city Department of Environmental Preservation and the Department of Parks and Recreation decided to team up to try to restore as many acres as possible with the funds they could acquire.
Since a sewer line was to run through part of the area, the sewer contractor was asked to be an active partner in the project. The cost of moving sand to cover up the pipeline and create craters for water and hills to be naturalized, is high. The cost of clearing out all that debris was very much higher.
Once the designs (by Mike Feller of Parks and John McLaughlin of D.E.P.) were established and the work begun, there was a return of grasses, butterfly weed, black-eyed Susan, milkweed, sweet pea, thistle, bayberry, huckleberry, poplar, birch, red maple, juniper, oak, American Holly, pitch pine, wild cherry, and a host or other plants whose relatives lived in that same area back in the 1800s or before. There are even some prickly-pear cactus the only cactus that will survive in this area. They are well past their spring bloom and fruiting, but those very big thorns are still there! There are vines of Virginia Creeper, still green at this time, but they will turn a vibrant red in the fall, as will that poison ivy mentioned earlier. Whenever you go hiking or exploring, it is a good idea to look without touching, because there are many plants that are not poisonous to birds and animals but are poisonous to humans.
The fauna, in the form of Snowy Egrets, a variety of ducks, geese, herons, loons, cranes, and a variety of song and sea birds along with some thumbnail-size toads, have already found a safe haven there, with, we hope, more to come. We wish all those in this project safety, Godspeed and the elimination of mugwort and ailanthus.
Thank you for your wonderful work!
©2001 Community News Group
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