The Greening of America

We were in Washington DC for a few days. Went for a run along the National Mall and found a lot of it fenced off. Bulldozers marched up and down leveling and smoothing  the dark earth. A sign said they were putting in new grass over an improved drainage system with curbs along the grass’s edge. The section they had finished, near the Capitol, looked good–deep green lush grass for kids to roll around in, for lovers to loll on. Further up toward the Washington Monument, the grass was splotched with weeds, and dotted with bare patches of ground. A shovel-ready project, no doubt. It’s good to keep up appearances.

We have seen that in New York in recent years. Little chunks of “useless” land have been turned into pocket parks–some greenery, a few benches. At one I saw a fellow who dragged his spinet to the site and gave quite a good concert. Then we have the bike path along the Hudson River, nicely landscaped. And the High Line. And many more trees and shrubs wherever they will take hold. I’m not sure how aesthetics or ambiance are accounted for in the account books kept by accountants. What is the dollar amount for a vista, a bit of shade, a grassy expanse? It’s clear, though, that many of the electorate either do not think about such things or would not miss such amenities if budget tightening and reducing government came to pass. It’s a matter of making choices, of course. But Big Bird needs a nest, and so do we.

I’m Joe Fitschen, and I approve this message.

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