Well, here we are in the fall of 2007. Over the last 25 years I have gone down to throw stones in the Thames River from the dock under the Guy Lombardo Bridge – to see the leaves turn and watch the river wind past. But over those years what I see has changed, not so much the view itself, but my perspective of it.
Where once I saw a winding river, I now see a polluted body of water not safe in which to swim.
Where once I saw the beautiful City of London skyline rising over the river, I see dirty streets, and a lack of tree coverage.
Looking across to Greenway Park, what I once saw as a picture of family tranquility, now my eyes can’t avoid the plastic bags caught in the trees, or the litter swirling in the wind.
Where once I thought I heard birds singing, I now only hear the roar of the cars and the angry honking of horns.
I think we all want to go back to seeing the landscape as I once did, but once the scales fall from your eyes you can no longer look at our city with the innocence of youth.
You can no longer pretend you don’t see the damage our lack of consideration is bringing to our City. The only way to regain that pristine view is to actually do something about it.
LondonTopic.ca has graciously provided me with this opportunity to do something.
Over the next few months this column will contain interviews with local environmentalists, and the efforts they are making to restore some semblance of balance to our community, interviews with local political personalities to see what our government is doing about our environmental issues, and their visions of the future of London.
Of course this column will also be speckled with personal views and outlooks on what we can do to improve the quality of life for current and future generations of Londoners.
This is an opportunity to see what others are doing in your community and to become involved ourselves.
On the day this article springs to life on the world-wide web, I will ride my bike down to the dock under the Guy Lombardo Bridge, and toss a pebble into the river. Then I’ll watch the ripples, to see what they touch as they spread.
Next week, an interview with Rosemary White of the Urban Farming Project.