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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

An Open Letter to IPFW and the Plex

If you wonder what my business in this is, scroll down and hit the tags, "walk", "animals", or "scrappy".  You'll see that for three years, Scrappy and I have been taking walks in the wilderness areas of the university-owned woods along the Plex property and the meadow beyond.  You'll see posts about animal encounters, especially deer and the cute little pair of foxes that used to live in the little patch of trees in the north end of the meadow.

Later on, you'll see my curiosity about the damage construction going on in the meadow- up to and including the tearing out of that little patch of trees.  I hadn't seen the pair of foxes since- until a couple weeks ago, we saw the little red one, roadkill on Washington Center near Maplecrest.  Nice job, homewreckers.

Today, Scrappy and I found the meadow had been bulldozed away, raised and flattened.  A crew was just getting off work, so I put on my best game face.  "What's the game plan, gentlemen?" I asked with as much chipper as I could manage.

"Couple more soccer fields, " they answered with return chip.

"Soccer fields," I echoed flatly.  I could almost feel them sensing the disappointment I was trying to hide.  I headed on towards the woods.

We entered at "north but one,"  aka the entrance where the stone trail through the woods becomes a dirt one.  Something here, too, was different.  The dirt trail was... wider.  Now I knew that just a few feet ahead was a flag marked line where they were either planning to or had in the distant past ran a water line to irrigate the existing fields.  There were small saplings cut down a few feet in from that, but then it stopped.  I returned to the trail, uncomfortable in the knowledge that the widened trail continued.

At the main deer track I've talked about so many times, a trail had been carved.  No little divot, this; a twenty foot wide strip of dirt in the midst of a sliver of sylvan paradise that followed the main deer trail faithfully until just before it hit the dry stream bed that runs north-south along the west side of the woods.  Then it took a south turn, winding around larger trees, careful to only remove saplings no more than six inches across and standing deadwood.  On it wound until it reached the point where the ravine flattens out; then it turned straight west until it hit the old wire fence that runs along the ditch that goes south into Stony Run Creek.  This was an area of thickets and heavy cover- read : was.  Now it was a 7-yard wide jogging path, complete with joggers already taking advantage of it.  The trail turned at the rim of the big drop off into the southern half of the woods north of Stony Run.  Then returning east, meeting the main trail about two thirds of the way from where we started to where the trail goes asphalt.

In other words, each and every point at which we used to see deer in the woods is now chopped, scraped, and weed-sprayed.  All of their normal paths have been swept away because joggers can't be bothered to step over a fallen log.  Scrappy and I never needed a twenty-foot thruway to explore and enjoy the woods.  You'll never be able to explain to me why the rest of the world does.

And so, we trade the beauty of wild life in the forest so that joggers can look at a different set of trees.  I thought IPFW claimed to be good stewards of the land, concerned about the environment.  Oh, they do appreciate trees.  They just prefer them spread out along a blacktop trail with identifying placards.

And maybe a fox lost its life, but what's that against having 22 soccer fields for our increasingly Hispanic population to enjoy, instead of just 20?

It's your land.  It's not a crime nor a sin to do what you did.  I just wish you understood how you lessened a precious slice of God's creation (or Mother Nature's if you prefer- I realize a lot of you are pagan/heathen), and we'll never get it back.  Don't mind me.  I'm just another neo-Luddite who hates change.


  1. It so sad to see nature get "humanized". I'd love to know what this country looked like back in the days the American Indians owned the land. I bet it was beautiful. We have had so many brush fires here and we have a lot of wildlife so I am quite sure there was a fair amount lost. Just sad.

  2. It's for this reason that I love my little backwoods, hillbilly, more dirt roads than paved roads town!

  3. CWM:
    That said to hear about the woods up there.
    But, I don't believe that you DO hate change...provisionally-speaking.

    I think you feel as I do.

    Change for CHANGE SAKE alone just doesn't cut it.

    Change with PURPOSE...a REASON to make things better for ALL concerned is what SHOULD matter.

    (and yes, that might even include God's little critters...)
    After all, it was THEIR place before it was OURS, right?

    Excellent take on something some would call "progress"...
    (I call it wanton destruction, but I's SO Draconian in my beliefs)

    Stay safe (and keep cool) up there.

  4. Such a shame. I am a country girl at heart and even tho I live in town, I can enjoy wild life out my back door. Sorry you and Scrappy are losing your piece of the beautiful outdoors.