Monday, March 8, 2010

Keeping Open Spaces is a Good Deed

Here is an example of one reason science literacy is so very important: Keeping open spaces is a good deed. It takes scientifically literate people.

When a state park is made, people living on the land are uprooted. It feels terrible. Now, though, those people can truly feel they have saved a piece of the Earth. For example, Highland Park,, on an Old Valley Central School bus route, displaced many families.

The wetland woods area is a touch of wilderness as the megalopolis that is Boston-New York-Washington-Miami has spread to, "Upstate," as that part of New York one-hour north of New York City is called. After nine-eleven events, so many moved from The City that farms costing 80K went up to 4 million as land parcels were rapidly gobbled up and farms and woods disappeared. The water table was adversely affected, too.

As macadam and cement replace wetland woods and farms in the Wallkill (kill = river; Dutch origin), flooding can occur. The State Park staying wild will alleviate damage to homes and businesses by protecting them from floods' worst damages. Extra water has a place to go. (Similarly, Boston's waterfront park on the Charles River, helps alleviate flooding.) Leaving the New York State park wild helps to alleviate the rampant temperate deforestation in the area.

Sometimes we like to pay attention to tropical deforestation, and, that devastation, but, we ignore the temperate devastation in our own neighborhoods. People in the tropics as well as the temperate regions see deforestation as, "progress." Jobs, money, and short-lived gains capture our minds...both in the tropics and in the temperate zones.

Education on wetlands and deforestation can help us realize the value of the park as it is. The trees and shrubs, the herbaceous plants, the microbes, the fungi, the animals...all organisms are a valuable part of our ecosystem. We need them. Keeping open spaces is a good deed. Thank you to those who gave up their homes and farms leading to the safekeeping of a treasure from our environment. (These people did not get mch money for their land,. The children had to change schools. Everything for them was uprooted. But, the treasure resulting from their sacrifice is phenomenal.)

Guido Dingerkus diligently tried very hard to preserve more lands as malls, hospitals (irradiation?) and businesses went up. He wrote many letters to the editor of the local paper (Guido was an active 4-H-er. He had a terrific insect collection. He knew how to handle snakes, even as a child. Guido published in Science (the journal) as a teenager. He knew fishes. He taught at the Sorbonne. Politics of saving lands became a passion for him. But, he can't be the only one.

Politics does overlap with science. We need to speak out to keep treasures of wilderness. The plants, fungi, and other organisms in wild areas hold hopes for new medicines, for example. Oxygen and water renew themselves in such areas, supporting life (including ours). Yes, we need the treasures of wilderness, plants and all. Please speak out on behalf of wilderness regions in your own areas. Like Guido, you might be the next, "Marjory Stoneman Douglas."


In memoriam: Guido Dingerkus 1953-2004
Dingerkus, Guido, 51, of Goshen,
died July 21, 2004 in Goshen.
Flynn Funeral & Cremation Memorial Centers.
Source:; Accessed 3-7-2010

Read more on and by Guido Dingerkus:
(Please e-mail any stories or additional information on Guido to Dr. J)

Read more on Marjory Stoneman Douglas:
Read more on Highland Lakes State Park:

Read more on Boston parks:

Read more on megalopolis (coined by Jean Gottman):
under development

(c) 2010 J S Shipman

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