Me? I thought “uh-oh” and went down to Riverfront this week to check it out.
Still, the inconvenience of picnickers is only a tiny part of the problem. The real disaster here is that most of the riparian buffer zone was destroyed. What’s a riparian buffer zone? It’s native vegetation that grows along a riverbank and has 4 important environmental functions:
1. Keeping the bank from eroding
2. Slowing flood waters
3. Absorbing pollution in stormwater runoff, to keep the river cleaner
4. Providing habitat (food and shelter) for fish and wildlife
Pollution? We already have elevated levels of nitrates in our river. We get our drinking water from there, folks. We ought to be trying to widen and strengthen the riparian buffer instead of destroying it.
I don’t know who at Municipal Hall had this brilliant idea to destroy an entire eco-system and put at risk one of our most unique parks, and the area all around it, and possibly even our water supply. The person ought to be fired.
|A"before" picture of the riverbank|
But frankly, I can’t see anyone at Municipal Hall publicly acknowledging their mistake. Or understanding that they made one in the first place.
Ironically, the Municipality just changed their Facebook cover to a pre-disaster area photo of Riverfront Park.
You can read more about riparian buffer zones on a PDF at the USDA's website at this link.