A few steps away from traffic congestion, information overload and the hurried pace of everyday life, lies a quiet oasis. The longer I follow its path, the more I notice: different bird calls, a small tunnel dug beneath tree roots, the scent of the season changing. The quality of the sound and air seem to clear. My thoughts are in the moment and not on my problems.
In Ohio where I grew up, these places were once common, but over the years they were put to other uses. Streams were diverted to culverts and hills were flattened and paved over, resulting in flooding and polluted ground water. Conservation groups and civic leaders have begun to reclaim these lands and return them to their natural state, which improves the surrounding water quality, supports endangered species and brings enjoyment to local citizens.
No one likes new taxes. In recent years, the Tri-Cities has been bombarded with special-interest taxes. But our desert natural areas have become more threatened and rare as the area’s population has grown. I believe that Proposition 14-7 benefits us all, and will save these wild areas for our future. It is not too late.