Or, at least, we did.
Today, all we hear the chainsaws and my kids are upset over the falling trees. Never one to shelter them from reality, but my heart breaks as I tell them a man named Vandekerkhove bought the land and he has the right to do what he wants with it. And there isn't a thing Daddy can do about it.
One of the sad realities of parenting is having to introduce your children to a less than perfect world. You always hope for better, and indeed there is a great deal of beauty and courage.
I was hoping the Saanich Council would rise to the challenge. Instead they've stalled every effort even though Victoria General, View Royal, the CRD were all on side to do something meaningful with the land. The Council never even bothered to meet with groups flying the flag to turn the forest into a park
Then Mr. Vandekerkhove bought the land about a year ago for 1.2 million. He wanted to put in a sewage treatment plant. Not my first choice, but it would have preserved the larger part of the forest. Saanich Council never bothered to come out to have a look. Now Mr. Vandekerkhove has decided to cut down 5000 trees and turn the whole area into a hay field.
"What can I do?" he's been quoted as saying. "I'm a farmer."
Hay? Really? I'd give the man more credence if he was actually a farmer. He made his fortune with gas stations. Most of the people I talk to think he's in a snit because he didn't get his way with the sewage plant. He's not even willing to talk about it.
One day soon, all around the world, busy chainsaws cutting swaths through forests will meet the outer perimeter of other busy chainsaws. We'll look around in collective shock and realize trees are gone.
And in my back yard? I'm no biologist, but even I can see the trees and the wetlands on Watkiss Way are largely within the same watershed. Tree roots hold soil in place. No trees mean plenty of erosion. Erosion means a clogged wetlands. A clogged wetland means dead frogs, dead ducks and dead owls.
Kids, I'm so sorry Daddy failed you.