One of my favorite blogs, Urban Pantheist, shines light on the idea that a nature-lover need not feel uprooted when living in the city. Obviously, a city will have fewer trees than a forest, but the belief that cities are devoid of all life is simply wrong. There are trees, growing freely, and wildlife. For me, living in a place without nature would be the deal-breaker.
The park that I live near originally had greenhouses and a deer park on the grounds. They are in the process of planning new gardens at Colt Park, which stretches from Wethersfield Avenue almost to Charter Oak Landing.
Speaking of Charter Oak Landing, I’ve seen a number of animals down there, including hawks on the trails. I’ve also seen hawks on trails heading North from Riverside Park. This shouldn’t be surprising since the Connecticut River is right there, and the wooded area surrounding it houses meals for hawks. I’ve also seen Peregrine Falcons and Bald Eagles, not to mention more common birds and animals like coyote, fox, deer, chipmunk, squirrel, raccoon, woodchuck, crow, and swan.
Even with humans getting in the way of progress, wildlife can still thrive, or at least adapt better than we can.
Still, there’s a need to clean up after ourselves. A year ago it was announced that the Hartford landfill would be closing by the end of 2008. The landfill is on Leibert Road, in the city’s north end. The hope is that increased recycling will help to make this transition easier. Right now, the City of Hartford does not accept as many recyclables as other towns do. Hebron, for example, will recycle antifreeze, motor oil, telephone books, clothes, tires, and scrap metal, which Hartford won’t even touch. Things that some other towns recycle that Hartford has not begun to: paperback books, food trays, leaves, car batteries, eyeglasses, electronics, packing “peanuts”, block styrofoam, lead acid batteries, appliances, shoes, rechargeable batteries, and oil filters. So, the technology exists for a lot more to be recycled than just newspapers, corrugated cardboard, jars, aluminum cans, and junkmail. When politicians talk about their dreams for Hartford, I’d like to hear more about composting and recycling, and reducing the amount of garbage here through encouraging restaurants to use reusable utensils.