Sunday November 11, 2012

On Nov. 5 I had the misfortune of witnessing something so cruel and unjust, something that made me so angry and sad that it brought me to tears.

For the past 11 years, I have had the pleasure of working at a beautiful home and property surrounded by beauty of the natural kind. Natural, sloping land and fields with wild flowers that bloom from April to late October. Because of the habitat we help provide there are nesting birds that return like clockwork every year. The owners of this property have worked hard over the past 10 years to remove invasive species of plants and shrubs, making way for our native plants that are diminishing before our very eyes. These are plants that we take for granted until one day you see them in a book and realize you haven’t seen them in the wild since you were a child.

This property provides a natural habitat for birds, snakes turtles (such as the bog turtle which is nearly extinct in this area), rabbits, bobcats, bears, whitetail deer and the list goes on. We all enjoy the native creatures and foliage. It lifts your heart and nurtures your soul.

There is a wonderful pond just below this property that has been there for years, welcoming nesting mergansers, wood ducks, blue heron, kingfishers and a wide variety of turtles, fish and incredible frogs that sing to us night and day. I have enjoyed that pond five to seven days a week for 11 years and Monday I watched as a huge machine destroyed it.


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Shovel after shovel of earth was dumped into this pond, which was not a threat to anyone.

The sad truth is that the people we trust to conserve our wildlife and our land can be bought. We donate our money and expect it to protect nature. That is why it is called the Nature Conservancy. How is killing a beautiful, natural piece of wetland and pond conserving nature? I know that if you had gone down to the banks of that filled-in pond you would have found dead frogs, fish flopping in mud and the crushed shells of turtles that had buried themselves from the winter’s cold. This was done because of one person who wanted to stop the enjoyment of this pond. There was nothing I could do to stop it and this lovely paradise met its end.

It’s heartbreaking. All of us watched Monday with sadness and anger. When an organization is called the Nature Conservancy you would expect it to do just that. I’d think twice about ever donating to that organization again.

KAREN GUIDI

South Egremont