Sunday, 14 September 2008

dogs and building bridges in Darebin Parklands

Penny stayed at home today while her humans went down to her favorite spot - Darebin Parklands, our wonderful urban bushland area.

We weren't there literally to build bridges; we were actually planting native flora, as we've done before. But, given the distressing argument that's still going on, about the future of off-lead dog-walking in this area, the day was also an exercise in bridge-building.

If you were to look at this picture, you would see a community co-operating to achieve wonderful outcomes for the future.

However, amongst the people working alongside each other there were very different viewpoints about the future of the Parklands.

Some want dogs limited to an area that I consider inadequate and destined to cause enormous conflicts. They think dogs are a danger to the habitat values they've worked for over the years.

Others believe this is an unreasonable reaction to the presence of off-lead dogs in the park and want a wider-ranging area for off -lead walking.

All too often I've heard the saddest word of all used in this argument. The word is they.

In my opinion there's only one word that really counts - we. We all love this area with a passion and that passion is the fire that keeps us all fighting to see out viewpoint win.

But when the decision-making process is finally complete and our local councils hand down a ruling, it will be time to work together, as we did today, to continue to protect this wonderful open space for our future and that of generations to come.

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