David Bly’s article “Tell your teacher: nature good for your mind,” in the Feb. 27 Times Colonist, recounts a poignant memory of his 5th Grade school teacher arranging for a bus to take the class from urbania out in to nature.
In Urb’toria the CRD imposes a vast acquisition tax upon the population to buy up all the back country and enforce a ‘no humans here be’ policy to satisfy some bizarre notion of environmental preservation set against the backdrop of dumping sewage in the sea.
I’m happy to say I don’t have any such nature-starved memories, nor do my eight children.[sam id=”15″ codes=”true”]The CRD-shaped memories we do have are those of illicit access and a constant battle against the sprawling repudiation of rural culture, most recently advanced as the proposed extension of the Leech watershed bylaw to exact severe penalties on teachers and students caught transgressing the almighty by being there.
The Rural Resource Lands Official Community Plan, Sooke OCP, Otter Point OCP, and the CRD Board itself all recognize that provision for recreational access to back country areas by motorized vehicle needs to be made.
Edward O. Wilson’s 1984 work Biophillia, and the 2005 work of Richard Louv The Last Child in The Woods, articulate what many parents know intuitively – the disconnect between children and nature is harmful. Other studies show that managed access, as opposed to a no-access policy, leads to net harm reduction; motorized access in the Lambly watershed in the Okanagan is an example. It is patently absurd and a complete repudiation of the rural way of life to expect people to walk into the far reaches of the back country, or not go there at all.
In practice a no-access policy only leads to backlash from the disenfranchised locals that helped pay for the acquisition and an expensive enforcement problem, leaving harmless nature seekers and their children only with a choice of two evils: Don’t go or don’t comply.
Terrance Martin, Sooke
South Island Recreation Association
Resources, brought to you by:[sam id=”14″ codes=”true”]
- David Bly’s article “Tell your teacher: nature good for your mind,” in the Feb. 27 Times Colonist
- Rural Resource Lands Official Community Plan CRD, PDF
- Sooke Official Community Plan PDF
- Otter Point Official Community Plan (CRD website)
- Biophilia by Edward O. Wilson
- Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv
- CRD considers limiting access to Leech Water Supply Area – Times Colonist article Apr 11 2015
- Watershed protection pamphlet Greater Victoria, PDF