Saturday, July 21, 2007

Keep the Woods

Sometimes we need to fight for those places that we remember as kids. The woods adjacent to my house in Connecticut was called Walkers Woods. I played, skied, hiked camped, and biked through these woods as a kid and then as an employee of the owner, the Ethel Walker School. The nordic skiing was especially superb.

A few years ago, this forest, home to a variety of wildlife and birds, including bears, coyotes, bobcats, and nesting goshawks became threatened as the school considered selling it to a developer. The bottom line on this forest is it's the last piece of solid habitat in a town that has seen practically every acre subdivided and developed. This place is an oasis that is necessary for water quality and wildlife, and the sanity of all of us.

In this case, the school partnered with the community, the State, and the Trust for Public Land to devise a way to save the Woods. It's working.

Efforts like this will vanish in the future if we don't work to connect kids with nature. My affinity to the place comes from my early experiences there. Without those experiences that are shared by the many people who have faught for this place, it might just be one more golf course community.