Friday, 10 July 2015

A Requiem for a Wetland

     Many regular readers of my blog will have seen the numerous posts I have made about the wonderful little wetland at Creekside Church.
     Here are a few idyllic scenes from that wetland.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Eastern Kingbird

Barn Swallow

Midland Painted Turtle
Barn Swallow, Red-winged Blackbird




     Imagine my utter shock the other day when I discovered that this wetland had been drained. To say I was dumbfounded would be an understatement. To say that I was offended, disgusted, disappointed, mad as hell, would hardly represent my true feelings.

     It is not permitted to drain a wetland in this area without a permit from the Grand River Conservation Authority. Today it was confirmed that no such permit was issued. And this from a church, a supposed bastion of propriety in the community, acting illegally.
     Furthermore the whole operation smacks of deceit. The pond was drained on a weekend when minimal public scrutiny is likely. The leaders of the church turned on the tap and walked away, without any concern for the creatures that live in the pond. How many Midland Painted Turtles baked in the hot summer sun, where did the Muskrats go, what happened to all the other organisms? How many fish were sucked into the storm drains? How many Red-winged Blackbirds' nests in the reeds were disturbed?
     And when a few concerned citizens started poking around and asking questions, and taking pictures, the contractor came back on Monday morning to widen and deepen the trench to make sure the job was completed. Death to any critters that might have survived the initial onslaught.
    This area was considered by the study team for the North Waterloo Scoped Subwatershed Study to be a Significant Wildlife Habitat candidate and a Turtle Breeding Area candidate. Thirty-seven turtles have been counted there on a single day.
     There are photographs dating back to 1930 that show a pond of similar size and location suggesting it is a natural pond and not a storm water pond built by the church.
     This is what the area now looks like.









     Make no mistake, areas in the pictures above that look like water do not contain water. It is mud that has not yet dried out. ALL the water has gone. 

     It is not as though the church needs more space. Judge for yourself the extent of their parking lots following a recent expansion of their buildings.





     I am truly filled with revulsion. I cannot adequately express either my sadness or disgust. I just hope that all those worshippers thanking their god for all his bounty, and thanking him for all of creation will remember what they have done to some of it. But somehow I doubt it. 
     It's ironic that the Pope, a leader of another significant branch of christianity, is calling for his flock to become environmentally conscious and respect the earth. This credo has obviously not filtered down to Creekside Church, unfortunately, and we are all the more bereaved. It is a sad, sad day in Waterloo.
     

31 comments:

  1. This is one of the saddest things I've read. Can nothing be done? Has there been any publicity or backlash against this horrible church that dares to call itself Christian? Are people afraid of it? Heartbreaking tandem not least because I bet like all those mega churches they have an active youth program and another generation learns they can destroy the earth with blessings from their so called adults.

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  2. No hay derecho que hayan drenado esa laguna, que injusticia. Desde España condeno enérgicamente esta acción y mi más sincera repulsa a los que han cometido esta agresión ambiental. Un fuerte abrazo David.

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    1. Muchas gracias por su commentario amigo Germán. Qué pena. Un fuerte abrazo desde Canada.

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  3. David ... this is devastating news and certainly not a godly act.

    Will the Local Authorities take any action against the Church?

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    1. I can only hope so, Frank. I will keep you posted.

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  5. I'm with you; it's disgusting in this day and age!

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    1. Thanks for your expression of support.

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  6. This action was damaging, technically unnecessary, not in compliance with regulations and regressive. I am reminded of the verse:

    Woe to you who add house to house and join field to field till no space is left and you live alone in the land.
    Isa5:8

    Roger Suffling

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  7. I do not understand mankind annymore. Like on so manny places on our plannet it is so sad to see that only man can be able to distruct their inviroment in this way and all that is living in and around it. And for what, more parking space, another church? It is sad very sad indeed. I understand your frustration David.
    Regards,
    Roos

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  8. Hello David,
    Unbelievable what is happening here, it really is disgusting.
    I hope that something of counteraction can be taken.
    I wish you a wonderful weekend.
    Best regards, Irma

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  9. I can only assume, David, that the so-called church is, in reality, Satan's Lair in disguise. No decent human being, let alone a Christian, would condemn so many of God's wonderful creatures to such a horrible death. I'm totally appalled, and write this with tears in my eyes. These people should be exposed before they give Christianity a bad name.

    It's too late to restore the lost lives, but I hope that this wetland can be restored for future generations, and the perpetrators of this atrocity brought to book in a way that will ensure that they never transgress again. If they're not punished by the authorities, I'll look forward to hearing of their ultimate judgement day - hopefully in the not too distant future!

    I wish you all the best in your endeavours - - - - Richard

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  10. I hope some actions will be taken, but I’m afraid things won't turn back.Unbelievable that this is carried out by or on behalf of a church. Hope you can reset your minds and have a good weekend . Gr Jan W

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    1. Hello Jan: Thanks for these kind words. I am presently reading some of the works of the great nineteenth century naturalist David Henry Thoreau, of Walden Pond fame, and this statement from 28 September, 1857 strikes a chord: If some are prosecuted for abusing children, others deserve to be prosecuted for maltreating the face of nature committed to their care.

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  11. This is ridiculous, such a beautiful area and how do you deal with it.
    Your first photos clearly show how beautiful it was and now, there's nothing left of it, soooo sorry.
    Greetings Tinie

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  12. Wonderful pictures of the Creekside Church.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. It certainly was pretty before the damage was done, wasn't it Bob? Thanks for your comment.

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  13. Yes well, I would be mad as hell too David,
    This confirms in my distrust of churches....
    Who do they think they are to condemn at once so many beautiful creatures?
    Gee, I can hardly believe it.
    you are right to cry out for such a bad action especially that it seems that all the water was purely waisted to top it all....
    Cheers, chin up but let's bite hard when things like this happen.
    Huge hugs to you and Lady Miriam :)

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  14. As it is possible that these things keep happening in the 21st century. We devastaremos all of nature, humans are like a plague.

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    1. The world is severely overpopulated, that's for sure.

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  15. Terrible news.I've seen a major wetland drained in Hokkaido for no apparent reason other than to use up construction budgets............they drained it and just left it. The mind boggles.

    Churches don't care about nature, they don't really care about anything.

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  16. In this day and age when the environment is of great concern to all species, we need to learn how to co exist and be stewards for all those that can't speak for themselves. It would certainly seem apparent that the stewards of this church didn't protect all of God's flock. If the thought at all is to say "it is easier to ask for forgiveness as ask for permission" ... get your head out of the muck...those that made the decision to have this wetland drained need to held accountable...ignorance of the rules and regulations of environmental changes, doesn't mean you are innocent in this matter!

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  17. There are no words...Makes me want to cry..I was looking at your first pictures thinking how lucky you were to be so close to section of wildlife..I am truly sorry for your loss...All churches care about is the bottom line...sadly

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  18. David, First I loved seeing your swallows, birds and the turtles from this wetland area. It id shame and disgusting that the water was drained without any concern to the wildlife in the area. Times are changing and wildlife seems to be to be the least important, it is sad!

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  19. Great photos of beautiful creatures of the wetland. Draining it was an act of vandalism! I hope the perpetrators can be charged under the law. Unfortunately that won't bring back the pond creatures but someone should be held responsible.

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  20. I am afraid that such mindless, wanton, ignorant and deceitful vandalism is all too prevalent in the modern world David.

    If there is a heaven and hell then I'm sure the perpetrators will find themselves in the appropriate place when the time comes.

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  21. Interesting bird species you met David.
    Greets

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  22. Nice bird place, shame looking at what is happening there ...

    Greets David

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  23. I have no time for organised religions - they claim to hold the high moral ground and then act like this. This is a real crime against the creation they claim to hold dear. Turn the tap off, fill in the ditch and let nature back in, its the only hope I suppose.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  24. This is horrible, despicable, heart-breaking! I found myself in tears while reading your post. We can only hope that the people responsible for this will be held to account. What type of person does something like this? Disgusting!

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