To quote an ancient proverb, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
In 1988 Dr. Joe Christian saw potential for a unique public park in what at the time was an impenetrable floodplain. He provided the vision, energy and fundraising to create the Bog Garden, providing city dwellers the rare opportunity to see wetlands up close. The park is nationally recognized for its unique nature highlighting vegetation that thrives in wet, spongy, acidic floodplain soil and its thickets, supporting an outstanding wildlife habitat.
Now, the native planet people want to “transform” the bog. They have removed many beautiful, bird-friendly plants and replaced them with oak leaf hydrangeas and other non-native plants. Half their plant choices have been eaten by rabbits, overgrown by bog plants, or failed to thrive. They have had Roundup sprayed on acres of bog floodplain each spring, to kill a tiny yellow flower that flourishes in streams above the bog and around the city. Severe erosion into the seven-acre lake has resulted from the loss of soil stabilizing plants.
Kathy Schlosser (“Greensboro’s Bog Garden is undergoing a transformation. As noxious weeds are removed, native species can thrive,” June 28) says plans are to remove the bamboo by a cut-and-treat method. Translate that to cut-and-poison with a highly toxic herbicide. Bamboo is invasive but most is on a narrow island. It cannot escape across water. It has gone nowhere in 30 years and is great erosion control. The bamboo provides a wonderful screen to give visitors a feeling of being alone in nature. Without the bamboo, visitors will be in someone’s backyard. Ms. Schlosser says the owls do not live on the bamboo. The bog owls do spend all winter on the lower limbs of the trees on Bamboo Island nestled in the bamboo, sheltered from the cold wind. I have observed them in my 29 years of living in close proximity and walking their daily.
Who wants to transform the bog? Certainly not the neighbors and most park patrons. Much-needed park maintenance has been deferred by the demands of the native plant people.
I am sad to see the Bog Garden transformed from the beautiful park Dr. Christian and others created to an undesirable eyesore.