landscaping

The Trail of Safety and Death

To get a nice new trail for humans along the lake, where a railroad used to be…

… it sees that you have to dig up a four metre wide swathe of ground and then, once it is bare of all life, smother it in gravel, and crush it down into a highway.

This the Rail Trail, which links Vernon, Lake Country and Kelowna. I think the idea is that humans can experience being a train. I say this because the boundary of that trail, which used to be a couple of metres wide at most, although clutter with train tracks, has been weedsprayed to destroy its environmental integrity, and any beauty that humans might be attracted to. Now it’s a road.

There’s a nice lake to look at, and a hill, but the ditch, beside where people walk, is bare and dead. It could have looked like this…

Two years ago, it looked like this.

Without the red Oregon grape, it looked like this, with beautiful poison ivy, beloved of birds.

Presumably, safety trumps all, but what’s the point of a nature trail when you have to kill nature to make it? What’s the point of recreation, if the Earth has to be sanitized? What’s the point of complaining about plastic bags at the grocery store, if, in the name of “getting out into nature” we go out into a smothered pile of rock?

It would have been better to have built housing for the homeless than to do this kind of sterile gentrification job. And before we gush about the beautiful lake too much, remember…

… it’s an industrial site. That’s from the railroad’s blasting that forms that beach. At least a trainman threw out an apple core and left us with a wild apple tree. At least that.

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