I was saddened by what I found as I walked through what was once a beautiful bird and wildlife sanctuary now reduced to 2 paths through some trees in some parts not even 100 feet away from towering buildings or homes. I remember the fight to keep it free of developement and the argument that developement would not hurt the sanctuary. Money won out and the animals and nature lovers lost again. The bicycle path and a walking path snake around the shore line of the river and give the illusion of being in a small forest in the denser spots. It is an interesting lesson in what happens when the need to make money overrides the needs of everything around it. The developers have nothing to be proud of in this case. They have reduced this area to a bare minimum of what it should be and every where you look you can see that they plan to build even more.
You must not let this stop you from going over there though as this will probably give them the developers and the impression that they should develop this area more due to its lack of use. It would seem that a space just being there for the animals so they can live life in a natural habitat is not an option any more. I would encourage day camps and teachers and conservation groups to visit this little track of nature as a learning experience. A little walk through this trail, shows how the birds are forced to share too little space and are not far enough away from humans. Every step off of the path sends the birds fluttering to safer heights. While I was taking pictures I was swarmed by angry parent birds and decided to cut my intrusion into their space short. The last thing I wanted to do was to upset the already precarious balancing act for survival that was tragically going on here.
The attempt to emulate the Parc de Rapides across the river did not succeed. In the pictures you see the lone crane standing on a rock as if standing guard against an attack from the sea. I only found one family of ducks swimming just off shore. The trees and grasses as well as the flowers are as always a spectacular sight to see. There were not many people walking, or biking here as if they like me were trying to let the birds and animals have some peace and enjoy the little space left to them without being further disturbed by prying eyes. I thought to myself thank God they are not having their life altered too much by humans today. That thought barely had time to fix itself in my mind when another thought popped in; the developers and city might see no need to have this duplicate sanctuary if people do not use it. This is the no win scenario that wildlife have to face to have some natural habitat here. As far as developments go this is a paradise for the people moving into the neighborhood. The buildings are spectacular and in no way can they be called ugly. There are indeed lots of playgrounds and man-made green spaces, but these are devoid of the true essence of nature. The trees that provide the homes and food for the birds and the other little creatures of the woods as well as purify the very air that we breathe are sparse to be generous. The only sounds in these parks are of the human kind. As delightful as the sound of laughing children is, there is room also for the chirping of birds. As delightful as it is to watch children at play, there is room also to watch the squirrels chasing one another from branch to branch and across the grass.
I think that this developement could have been so much more if a little more consideration had been given to the value of having a living breathing animal sanctuary for a back yard, where parents could have brought their children to enjoy real nature in its purest of forms. Progress and the greed in some parts of Nuns Island artificially green and a little less beautiful because of it. I did however hear that there are some beautiful man-made parks on the island and in an effort to be fair I will be going to walk through them very soon and see how they stack up against nature and if they are indeed the saving grace of Nuns Island residents, the government and the developers.
I think it is time to put away the heavy digging equipment and think conservation again or risk turning the whole island into a concrete jungle. Where people tell their children what animals look like instead of showing them. Do not laugh and say this is not going to happen, instead look to Africa where most of the continent’s children have never seen an elephant in the wild because there is no more wild and all of these big creatures have been forced onto sanctuaries when their habitat was cleared to make way for progress. The fight all over the world is to try to save the animals and nature. We have screwed up the world so much and so fast that it is becoming no good even to us anymore, because we are not allowing it to heal itself from our constant digging, cutting and polluting. We try to fix nature to suit ourselves and we are destroying the very things we need to exist. Is this how the extinction of all life and the rebirth of all life happens? With the most dominant species wiping out everything including itself and allowing nature to take the time in needs to heal the earth?
This park or walking and bike path or nature trail is a must see as an example of what happens when money comes before nature; the over crowding of birds trying to give each other enough space to coexist is a valuable lesson on how man can never figure out mother nature. This supposedly bike path, walking trail/bird sanctuary nature trail has failed miserably in its attempt to leave adequate space for the wild life and the range that these small animals require to live naturally. As I stated before so small is their space that the mare walking off of a trail sends the birds into a panic.
The people of the island and the developers as well as the governments responsible for this ecological catastrophe should be ashamed of themselves. They say a picture speaks a thousand words so I will post them and leave you to visit Nuns Island for yourself and maybe write someone in the government and see if you can help the wee animals of Nuns Island bike path, walking trail/bird sanctuary, nature trail. As I have stated earlier this is one part of the Island closet to the shoreline and it is not finished yet, but it is what is left of the area the way nature intended it to be. As beautiful as the parks I have heard about can be and as close as they could possibly come to duplicating nature as some suggest that they do, in my heart they will never replace the beauty of seeing nature in all of its unbridled, un-sculptured beauty.