I was stunned and saddened to read in The News of the beautiful white pines, maples and numerous other native trees that were recently cut down in the Niagara Falls State Park, and that the Great Lakes Garden has been bulldozed out of existence.
Not only have we lost a beautiful mature garden that evolved over decades, but also a habitat for multiple varieties of song birds and other animals who now, at the peak of the nesting season, have to find another place to rebuild and find food. Replacing those mature trees with a large sterile lawn, supposedly to open the park to the city, is not in the spirit of Frederick Law Olmsted’s principle of having naturalized green havens sheltered from the city noise.
I thought state parks had reached rock bottom when it destroyed the one remaining unspoiled site in the park, Three Sisters Islands. Previously, you could cross the little Olmsted bridges and find yourself stepping back in time, experiencing the landscape as ancient people did. Before the state’s “improvements,” visitors were able to move unhindered through the natural rock formations, worn smooth by glaciers dating to the last Ice Age and by the millions of hands pressing over them for generations, to enjoy an “up close and personal” view of the spectacular Niagara rapids. Now the boulders are gone, or buried in top soil and planted with lawn grass and an ugly, intrusive fence separates you from the formerly pristine view.
I dream of the day when politicians will consider the effects on nature, not just economics, when they when make their plans. I don’t think planet earth can wait much longer for this kind of thinking to be foremost in peoples’ minds.