Saturday, July 30, 2011

Park Officials Saying no to Foragers

       On July 29 the New York Times Posted an article on park officials dealing with foragers. This is a very touchy subject because on one hand- all the officials are trying to do is preserve the park and the plants and wild life they worked hard for. While on the other hand-people are trying to make use of the land provided to them, using the land to teach and identify edibles, and trying to enjoy the park(s) the way they know how. 
        Anyone, hopefully, can see both ends of each argument. It is true however, that these parks provided to the people, do not necessarily belong to the people. I am not going to lie, I often have identified wild edibles, in my strolls through the parks, but after thinking about it, decided to leave it untouched. The parks are meant to provide an aesthetic for the people, as well as to create a wild life habitat. Once this gets disturbed, all the hard work is lost, and the wild life, is left with nowhere to go. Not to mention the plants that are mishandled and left for dead, just to satisfy a person's needs.

         Sandy Hook in New Jersey, apparently will allow foraging, but provide a limit. This is reasonable, and people should be understanding of it. Over Foraging, can result in a few different things, extinction of the plant in its natural habitat, harming the wildlife that thrives off of it, and costing the park officials extra money to replace it. You may be tempted to grab more than the allotted amount, but whats the point of getting fined, just return the next day, and do it all over again.

         What's upsetting, is those that are taking foraging too far, and making this an issue to begin with. The Article states that people are over fishing, catching turtles, and taking trees. Several people love to fish, but if its not allowed, or theres a limit, don't do it, or just follow the rules. You know the fish (and Turtles) didn't just magically appear in the middle of these parks (surrounded by the city). They were put there by the officials. 

          Hopefully a compromise will be met, and it will not come down to fenced off areas in the parks.
What are your thoughts on this article?



MrBrownThumb said...

I saw you tweet this earlier and even before reading your thoughts I had come to the same conclusion. It is cool that people are learning to identify wild edibles, but there has to be a balance.

Did you ever go to the Little Red Schoolhouse on a trip as a kid? My only memory of it is going there and asking if I could pick lotus bloom and being told no because if everyone did that then there would be no lotus blooms to enjoy looking at.

That interaction as a kid really shaped the way I ended up understand out relationship to public planting and the parks.

Finding My Green Thumb said...

Yes I definitely have, The Little Red Schoolhouse was a must for all schools in Chicago I think. I really enjoyed it. But that is a great point, and its very true. There has to be some sort of boundary.