Monday June 5, 2017 was World Environment Day. It is the United Nations most important Day for encouraging Worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. Since it began in 1974, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in 100 Countries around the World.
The theme of World Environment day for 2017 implores people to get out into nature, to appreciate its beauty as well as its importance, and to move forward with the call to” Protect Mother Earth” which is mother to all. It is said to be “The People’s Day” to do something to take care of Mother Earth or to become agents of change. That “Something” could have been to show our love and respect for Mother Earth on this day.
However, here at Sheridan, Federal Correctional Institution, it was used to desecrate Mother Earth once again. As I write these gloomy thoughts with a heavy-heart they are cutting down all the Beautiful Poplar trees on the compound. These trees have been our reminders of nature and beauty, and the sacredness of Mother Earth since the prison was built in 1989.
The current desecration is known as Project-Side-walk-repair. There are some errant roots from these trees that cracked sidewalks, which has turned into the execution of all trees inside the compound. There were 29 trees and they are all being sacrificed. Most of which stood at a towering 60 to 70 feet tall. In the Spring and Summer they were filled with a verity of birds and their young. Most of the housing units face the area where the trees were. We could watch them out our windows even on lockdowns and enjoy the little beauty Mother Earth had graced us, less unfortunates with. Some of us will never see a park or nature and its beauty. It was always a great time just to walk to chow and hear the rustle of leaves, feel the cool breeze from the shade they provided. Just a few precious moments a day experiencing the sacredness of Mother Earth and her wonders filled some hearts with an eternal spring.
Since I have been here (7 years) I have witnessed the taking down of the martin houses (bird houses) that were on poles. I seen them poison the cute little ground squirrels that lined up to beg for treats from the inmates coming from the chow hall. Our only Old Tom Cat was the victim of eating a poisoned squirrel and died. They poisoned the gophers that are an important part of the eco system. As Summer draws near and the grass dies here, there will be nothing left for the longing gaze but the cold hard dead stumps and memories of the little squirrels, and birds. Mother Nature will no longer Mother the thoughts of us less unfortunates.
Peace & Light