Being a life-long resident of Brooklyn and Windsor Terrace, I want nothing more for the park that I have called my backyard for my entire life to be graced with the presence of all beings that deserve the right to reside there in peace. I live in the direct flight path of the Canada geese as they make their way from Prospect Park to Greenwood Cemetery and continue to be inspired by their flights daily. I want these birds to live and raise their offspring here forever. I want people to know just how incredible they are and if they took the time to understand them and learn about them they would see there is much to learn from them. I want them to live in peace and grace the skies over my house forever.
The whole — and only — premise of “Hands Around the Lake” is to gather the community together, adults and children alike to promote the absolute importance of wildlife in our lives especially now as we face such turbulent times. We aim to get the message across to Mayor Bloomberg and all elected officials that we as a community will not tolerate another mass extermination of these birds ever again whether in Prospect Park or around the city. It is also being organized to raise awareness of the plight of all urban wildlife as we as humans continue to paint wildlife into a corner by depleting every last ounce of habitat on this planet.
I have devoted a large part of my life to teaching about and caring for wildlife and the environment both local and around the world and the very notion of this being anything other than an event in absolute favor of the lives of these birds is preposterous.
The fact of the matter, plain and simple is that the contract with the USDA runs through June 30, 2011, and we are looking to head this off. This is happening not only in New York, but in communities across the country, and we are hoping that we can create a model so that citizens can feel that they too can make a difference to stand up for the wildlife in their own communities.
We are gathering to let our voices be heard that we will not stand for more senseless killings to take place and that we demand only respect and compassion for our wildlife so that they will be here for generations to come. This is an opportunity for the entire community and those who do care to come together to share their concerns about how we as humans can learn about our wildlife, understand how our actions affect it.
Our aim is to learn to peacefully co-exist with our wildlife, not abolish it.
Mary Beth Artz is the organizer of Hands Around the Lake.