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Connie, Janet, CLB, Susan, All: Reading your posts, I celebrate the generosity of your outreach and the wisdom that you put in the hands of others. (For anyone that doesn’t know it, Connie Beck is a terrific source on “holistic gardening.”)

Susan writes that we must be mindful of unintended consequences. And CLB notes that government (and not only government, I add) does things on the cheap that later have to be redone or, worse, undone at far greater cost. The adage, “If you can’t fix it, don’t break it” comes to mind in reference to native habitat. What we’ve observed here in Golden Hill is that natural ecosystems seem far too complex to duplicate easily, particularly when dealing with disturbed, eroding soils and incursions by non-native weeds.

The complexity and challenges, however, serve as a kind of model of human collaboration … or at least that’s what I tell myself and others. The duff-covered soil with its fungi and creepy crawly things; the densely growing plants with one species clambering over the other, seeming to deprive it of light; the seasons that dry those leaves to loosen the plant underneath to the sun and so forth: These dynamic communities are a metaphor for citizens, government agencies, educators, scientists, artists, etc. who strive to live and create more responsibly while still getting what they need.

Continuing to share information and communicate priorities is important. Sometimes it seems like “fighting” because we have to raise our voices to be heard over the roar of the development money that Janet mentions. Yet, even with developers there exist unifying opportunities. As Susan mentions, the best opportunities are collaborative and active. Not just talk but actual action.

— TERSHIA D’ELGIN

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