|This is the newly gravelled and fenced road that got Andre and I wondering why the parks people can't leave good enough alone. Our fear is that anything this wide, smooth and level is up for paving next.|
My friend Andre and I practised being grumpy old people when we took a walk Thursday in Pacific Spirit Park, the forested area between Dunbar and the University of B.C. It's 874 hectares and criss-crossed with trails that are constantly being smoothed, gravelled, cut off, closed, reopened and lined with all kinds of fencing.
What got us going was the sight of a huge wide central trail, obviously newly gravelled, with an infinity of fresh split-rail fencing running its entire length. A second high wire fence ran behind it. Why, we asked, can't the park just be left alone?
Andre was especially sensitive to the issue because he'd just experienced the city's treatment of the Arbutus line, the former railway corridor that is now supposed to be a pedestrian/bike "greenway." He and a friend regularly ran it before the railway tracks were removed this summer, and it was a treed, green experience past garden plots and people's back yards. Now it is paved and barren, just like, Andre says, running on a freeway.
The city is already full of roads and concrete sidewalks. Why don't we use our few remaining open spaces for natural greenery?