Getting back to nature - college ecologist style

Over twenty years ago I attended the University of North Florida. As a student, I spent lots of time on the nature trails that are there. The property that the university is built on was once an active tree farm that encircled a large hardwood swamp known as sawmill slough.

There are five or six miles of trails that wind their way among several different kinds of terrain, and it's really something to see: very beautiful.

Now this old redneck Southern boy thoroughly enjoyed those trails during the sometimes lengthy breaks between classes, and I knew that trail system like the back of my hand.

This weekend I went back to the university to walk those trails again, and I was dismayed and disgusted at what I found. Everywhere I looked there was some kind of sign; signs telling me what kind of tree I was looking at, signs telling me to stay on the path, signs telling me to not litter (as if!), and signs complete with miniature maps of the trail system so I wouldn’t get lost.

In addition to the myriad of signs, the place was full of park benches, picnic tables, exercise stations, distance markers, call boxes (for security from the squirrels I guess), garbage cans, etc. There were lots of raised wooden walkways so my feet wouldn’t ever need to get the least bit muddy in low-lying spots along the trail. Nevermind that those walkways were wet and slick as greased lightning, making me yearn for the muddy trail that I never previously worried about falling down on!

I found it very ironic that the nature loving leftists that surely were responsible for this massive human footprint, if asked, would sincerely reply that they were “helping nature protect itself from the depredations of man”.

1 comment:

MikeH. said...

The natural wonders of nature... through human intrusion.

And a generation or two down the road will look back on these "improvements" and think we were a collection of barbarians. They won't understand why the pedestrian walk-ways weren't motorized.

Sorry GR, I know your frustration.