I was driving home from a meeting in Menasha and I decided to cross the Fox River and take a left onto Spenser Street. This part of Appleton has house after house on small lots. Along that road, I noticed a new patch of lawn. It was green from edge to edge. No weeds, no structure of any kind, no trees, no sign. The last time I had driven by, the place looked like it had just been cleared of something. It was edge to edge dirt but in my mind I supposed that a house or building had just been removed from that location. My hear sang this week as I drove by and noticed the nice lawn and the open space.
I am an advocate of green space. I see the value of having green things grow nearby. There is a certain calm and peace that comes with nature. Somehow, it reduces stress and helps us unwind. A bit of rough provides a space for birds and other creatures to inhabit, feed, and reproduce. Trees and bushes break up the wind, sun, and blowing snow. They provide oxygen and clean the air.
I wish more effort could be put into taking down old, unused buildings and returning the space to nature. At the very least, doing so takes out a potentially dangerous structure. We need to value what natural surroundings bring us. I think our cities would be better off with the right balance of living space and green space.