Saturday, April 21, 2007

PASSIVE PARK


Upon any given ground different people see different uses for the land. It is natural to project one's values and desires on to that which the eyes behold. The moss in these oaks is bending to a gentle breeze off the adjacent salt marsh. This is open public land on to which one may step without a pass or fee. It's just there for the enjoying. It has no theme, structure of declared purpose.

Kids will see climbing opportunities in these trees. Their parents will enjoy the shelter of the shade as they watch them. A young couple might find this the ideal picnic spot while it's perfect for someone to toss a Frisbee to their leaping dog. To campers this is a tempting target for their Airstream and a sweet spot to watch the stars from a sleeping bag.

This looks like a great place for a retired couple to build their dream home. Of course, to others it's just where they want to put many homes and close together. We can already see a meandering road snaking around the trees each lit up at night near cute wooden cut out signs posting a 13 MPH speed limit. That was a novelty 25 years ago when Kiawah and Seabrook Island seemed fresh adventures in convenient island living rather than the expensive subdivisions which they have become.

Of course, this would make a good amusement park or go kart track or a marina since water of a practical depth is less than fifty yards forward of this point. Many greedy hands fairly tremble at the prospect of grabbing this land. This property is, however, held by Charleston County as a public park and recreational area. The County has not always been the best shepherd of public land or the best protector from exploitation of private land, but there is hope that a rising voice to conserve Wadmalaw Island is being heard by County Council. If not, let's give them hearing aids before November.

You really can't improve this spot in any decent or meaningful way. The best plan will be to just leave it alone, to neither add nor subtract anything and allow this to remain a free public place. Nothing is all you need to make this place just right.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Agricola said...

Mustang,

Well said, well written, and well meant.

8:07 AM  
Blogger Windviel said...

Agricola,

Thanks, thanks and thanks again. Some of the most majestic places are the least disturbed spaces we find in sadly diminished numbers these days.

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

I agree with you. This is a lovely spot. I go there and sit on one of the benches. It needs nothing else. Wadmalaw is such a special place. Thankfully, the Wadmalaw Island Land Planning Commission has 18 voices and isn't dominated by any one person. They have worked hard to keep the island as free of development as possible.

6:14 PM  
Blogger Windviel said...

We, too, are hopeful, but remain a tiny bit cautious. We remember early assurances about Anchorage and look what we have now. Take nothing for granted. In preserving Wadmalaw one must sleep with one eye open.

10:52 PM  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

Yes, Long Creek and Anchorage were ones that didn't sneak up but without the Land Planning Group the density of houses would have been far worse. Plus, there were plans for a lock harbor at Anchorage. We know who the wolf in sheep's clothing is on Wadmalaw. Residents of the island turn out whenever anything comes before planning. Vigilance is always needed as you said.

11:33 AM  

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