Birchwood Park is known to those in the Birchland neighbourhood as Spider Park.
Two years ago, the city decided not to mow the grass at the end of the forested trail to save money. Birchwood is not the only small park where the “park naturalization” program is in effect. Some neighbours thought this program would be rotational but this appears not to be the case. Once again, the grass is not slated to be cut until September.
Years ago, the area of the park at the end of the forested trail contained a playground with swings, a digger, picnic table and a large grassy area. We often took our children to play and have picnics in the park.
It was a small recreational hub and contained a lovely well-kept grassy area surrounded by the natural forest.
Several years ago, the structures were removed and relocated to Birchland school. We were advised it was to curb young people from congregating at night along with other suspected shady activities.
Many of us still frequently walk through the park with our dogs. The grass is getting tall. I have tripped on blackberry bush tentacles that are hidden in the grass. Gone are the days one can have a picnic at the table or kick a ball around because the grass it too tall. One has to watch now for debris or other nasty things hidden in the tall grass. It does not look inviting at all.
Last week, a neighbour called on me with a petition. It requests the city restore Birchwood Park and the adjacent hydro right-of-way to lawn care and maintenance levels of 2010. We want it to be mowed again once a week instead of twice a year. So far, more than 70 immediate neighbours in the Birchland neighbourhood have rallied on to sign the petition.
We have witnessed a slow erosion over time in our neighbourhood park in respect to the grassy area. We sincerely hope our petition will be successful in our efforts to restore Birchwood Park and the grass will be cut weekly, so we can all enjoy it once again.