Little kids need big space
I was saddened to read in the Low Down that a Wakefield group wants to take a section of the children’s park beside the Wakefield bridge for a garden (“Push on for Wakefield Community Garden,” April 21 edition). Every time I drive across the bridge, I see children doing what they should be doing – having fun in a safe environment.
Although we are not Wakefield residents, we have frequently used the park to visit with our preschool granddaughter in a safe large outdoor area. It is a wonderful park. It is fenced, so parents do not have to worry about the safety of their children, and it has lots of grass to run free, a large play structure, and the gazebo provides an area out of the sun.
COVID has been hard on us all but especially children. For two years, like so many youngsters, our granddaughter has been limited to her home, her daycare, and our home when it has been safe. Children have not gone shopping with their parents or to restaurants or museums; they have lived in a closed bubble. Parks like the one beside the bridge have provided an enclosed area where they can play at a safe distance while still feeling connected to others their age.
I am certainly not against gardening or community gardens. For 35 years, we sold pumpkins from our farm and were vegetable vendors at the Wakefield Market for 10 years. But I am perplexed as to why the garden group would want to take land from the children’s park. The Wakefield area has acres and acres of suitable land owned by the municipality, the NCC, or locations such as the 100-acre woods. There are countless landowners in the area who own land that used to be farmed but now sits fallow, or worse, is simply growing weeds. Surely, in the thousands of acres, sorry hectares, there is land suitable for a garden plot in the community. The garden group says they want to support the food bank. Bravo! It will take more land than the children’s park if they are serious. Start small with a section of farmland and watch it grow. If it works, you can expand next year.
A community garden is a wonderful project but should not be done at the expense of the little people in our community who do not have a voice and just want to run and play in a safe grassy area.