Be respectful of the land we love

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Last week, I went for a walk on the Greenway with my mom. We appreciate that our community has worked hard to provide wonderful outdoor exercise options like this pathway and try to take advantage of it whenever we can.

We are often graced by the presence of wildlife, such as squirrels chittering at each other, bunnies scampering away and deer grazing in the sunlight.

It’s peaceful, relaxing and a nice way to burn some calories, or spend time with friends and family.

While wrapping up a recent walk, we noticed a deer in a field. Like I said, this isn’t uncommon. We actually encountered four other deer and fawns during our trip.

But this time was different. The deer was attempting to eat the grass while a large piece of thick, hard plastic was stuck around its neck.

Did you ever cut up the plastic rings Coke cans come in for fear of strangling fish? Imagine that except 10 times that size on a very large mammal.

It took us aback as we tried to figure out what was stuck on the animal. It didn’t seem to hurt it or interrupt its eating, but it was still an odd sight to encounter.

The whole situation stayed on my mind for days because seeing the deer wearing a plastic necklace was so out of place. We wanted to help the poor creature, but were powerless to do so.

As a community, I do believe most of us strive to at least attempt to be green and eco-friendly. Where did someone go wrong that this native creature will probably end up suffering at the hands of humans?

Is it because we value our new homes and bigger shopping centers over the lives of the animals who were here before us?

There isn’t any one person to blame for that situation, but perhaps we should place blame with our society.

If we could take a few moments to pick up our trash when we visit a park, or recycle our bottles and cans, we could each make a massive difference in our world.

We like to live in a bubble hearing how great our schools, property values and entertainment are. And we are very fortunate we live in a place that has so much to offer.

But we also need to take a step back and honor, respect and cherish the incredible natural elements that surround us.

I, for one, will continue to enjoy my trips to the Greenway, primarily because of the wildlife I encounter. Hopefully, next time they’ll be without the man-made adornments and just as nature intended.


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