To the Editor:
Don’t get me started on the Good Shepherd Plaza! On second thought, let me get this off my chest. The photo-editorial in the last WIRE asks if RIOC has gone nuts on signs. The photos show recent signage in the plaza which emphatically state what one is not allowed to do in this area. The photo-editorial places blame for damage to benches on skateboarders. This conclusion isn’t totally accurate.
My apartment in Rivercross looks directly down on the plaza. I know darn well who is destroying our property. Until now I have refrained from taking a bullhorn and shouting from my terrace to shame the offenders.
Do not blame only the skateboarders.
The bicyclists, who ride their bikes up and across the edges of the benches are equally to blame. I have called Public Safety on them.
No, I haven’t seen tots on tricycles riding the benches. However, I have seen tots sitting on the grass, happily digging the dirt and tossing it on the paths, scooping up gravel and depositing it where it doesn’t belong and, yes, their mothers are happily keeping their noses in their iphones or chatting with their friends, while the destruction goes on.
There are also children happily tossing balls. When those balls fly out of bounds, where do they go? Of course, directly into the flower beds. And where do those little darlings go to retrieve those balls? You get the picture.
Then, there are the kids from The Child School, who, supposedly supervised, march across our newly planted areas. And let me not just blame kids.
There are plenty of adults who, to shave 10 seconds off their walk through the plaza, cut off of the pavement and off of the paths into the grassy area west of the church, walk through the plant beds, ignoring signs asking us not to walk through the area. When I am out and about I have politely asked these individuals to be aware of the plants. Some do not know that, although plants may not be apparent during winter and early spring, they are alive immediately beneath or just atop the soil. A boot stomping on top, smashing the new shoots and packing the soil, does not help.
So, if we are to continue to enjoy the plaza, how about we all become aware of how easy it is to destroy it and begin to mend our ways. Matthew Katz said a while back that if each Roosevelt Islander picked up a piece of litter once a day, what a lovely place this would be. Let me ask you – if each one of us makes a promise not to stub a cigarette out in a flower planter, throw a soda can in the planters, leave a plastic container of leftover food on a bench, and not let newspapers fly into the planting beds, and encourage proper respect of the plaza by children, wouldn’t this be a nice place to live?
Willa Klein Walsh