As a past resident of the Arklow Drive area, of which I spent the first 26 years of my life living, I was terribly disappointed to see in the recent media the issues about the tree removal along portions of the walking paths in behind Arkow Dr and Almora Crt in Forest Hills-Cole Harbour.
For the residents of this community, these pathways are a wonderful addition to family living. There wasn't a week gone by that as a child, we didn't play in the woods building forts or looking for "wild animals". As an adult, I walked my dogs or just strolled & enjoyed the piece and quite that was afforded to me by the privacy of the green belt along these pathways.
While the news coverage I've read state that HRM's position is that there is high crime ratio's in these particular area's, I find it very difficult to believe. While there is likely the occasional outbreak of bad teenage behavior in this area (as there has always been since the area was constructed), clear cutting the forest is not an option and certainly not the solution.
Why not more frequent foot patrols or cycle patrols? Cole Harbour Place is right there, and not often have I seen their security break up a fight in their parking lot or disperse the teens who sometimes gather in the far end of their lot which is beside the area being cleared. Why shouldn't Cole Harbour place step up to the plate as well & help out the community who keeps them in business?
Parts of this green belt have already been devastated by Hurricane Juan & it will take many years for the forest to grow back in those sections. All the while, the homes in that area that enjoyed the sound and wind barrier it provided now see an increase in winter heating costs and noise pollution.
As far as I can see, this area's representative (Harry McInroy) is not helping to support the residents that elected him, instead he is attempting to bypass the voice of the people who live there and is not being co-operative at all in attempting to reach a mutually beneficial solution.
No one wants to nourish any supposed crime in the area, but no one should have to stand idly by while such deforestation occurs.
I applause the locals for bringing attention to these matters & not allowing themselves to become overwhelmed by the opposition HRM is giving them in this matter.
C O' Connor (without permission to reprint email adress)
By C O'Connor