my husband is regularly annoyed by the strict outdoor bans and enforcement that we have locally. there are always reasons for these enforcements, our climate and environment and natural habitats are changing. there are invasive species. mud snails. mud slides. cooties. drought.
restorative areas, no walking. mountain lakes, no swimming. private property, no trespassing. all of the regulating of our natural environment has led to nothing more than more regulation of natural play. as Richard Louv put it,
“For several decades, our society has been sending a clear message to kids and parents. Our institutions, urban/suburban designs, and cultural attitudes consciously or unconsciously associate nature with doom—while disassociating the outdoors from joy and solitude.
That lesson is delivered in schools, through families, even by organizations devoted to the outdoors, and has been codified into the legal and regulatory structures of many communities. Most housing tracts constructed in the past two to three decades are controlled by strict covenants that discourage or ban the kind of outdoor play many of us enjoyed as children.”
and with that.
sometimes we break rules and wade in cold mountain lakes, flip stones to inspect the armadillidiidae, pluck usnea from their host tree branches, and gaze at clouds on property that is not our own.