Dozens of citizens show up to express their support for a recent controversy in our community. Among them are people from all backgrounds: high school students, war veterans, runners all sharing one combining passion: Save Brookside. This land holds close value to these people both environmentally and personally.
The voice among all share similar themes of anger, contempt for this cause. The cross country team of Walnut High tells anecdotes of running through the “beautiful” routes. Others tell of the times of riding horses at the equestrian center that used to reside there. Some just share the experience they simply received from this singular place. A speaker of the city hall meeting said, “This is really close to my heart because of all the wildlife. They’re making homes out of torn down ones and it’s heartbreaking.” There lies a recurring theme among them; they don’t want to see this place torn down and turned into just another street, no matter the reason. Seated in the front row, the contractor. Mr. Hu, himself had a son that went to a neighboring school. He is closely knit with the community and acknowledges what this holds with them emotionally. Compromising with citizens, Hu has been cooperative with the process. Enforced by the encouragement of the public he has compromised to keep the running trails and creek, but not the barnyard and stables. 8.2 acres of the 25.8-acre will be reserved for open space. The rest will be encased in twenty-eight single-family residential homes. Armored with his team on either side, knowing of the still upset community, he has shown up with support of his own. Despite being a California Historical Landmark, Brookside has been sold and set for destruction regardless. The reasoning is unclear.
While this is not the central concern for the majority of the attending, some passionately argue of the historical righteousness of keeping this building. It is clear however the building is in disrepair and won’t last for much longer. This isn’t exactly new to the city of Walnut as well. In 2007, a group of concerned citizens formed a group known as the Lemon Creek Conservancy whose objective was to stop the creation of Meadowpass road. The city did not believe that the environment of Walnut was valuable, and thus the road was created in 2010/11. The ultimate tragedy is the multitude of the city that has not seen this precious land however. Setting upon myself the duty as of now is to expose this place to as many citizens as possible.
If this land can’t be saved at least it can be appreciated for a short amount of time before it becomes just another concrete-paved street and set of cookie cutter homes. In reality, many among the group have low prospects of this land being saved. I don’t believe this will have a fairytale ending where this land is saved. But at very least I can do what I can to prevent this from happening, and while Brookside still exists I would like to have as much of my city see this land as possible. When I spoke these words at a city hall meeting, “Most of us on a daily basis do not see true nature. We see engineered parks with greenery that has been watered and mowed to perfection to fit what we want. But Brookside is nature. True nature. Here is something that almost came as a wonder to me, because I hadn’t experienced nature in this sense before. Here oak trees grow freely and land is untamed and untouched by humans obsessive perfection. Here nature is nature.”
Brookside is a living tragedy that future generations won’t ever get to experience or appreciate because you simply can’t appreciate anything as much as true nature. Less and less chances are available for them as this repeatedly happens everywhere. Plot’s of our Earth are repeatedly taken over to place to build more and more until everything slowly evolves to look the same. Smothering our nature for something many of us consider more useful. This won’t stop until everything looks like everything. Until the day the only thing that can distinguish one side of the Earth from the other is a map, a word, to verify. We are becoming so blind sighted by capitalism, by prospect that we forget about what gave us our beginning gifts: the Earth.
Knowing this is just a small residential plan in reality, nothing in comparison to the forests being burned down, the ocean’s swirling sea of plastic, the toxins dumped onto Earth every day, this makes me all the more determined to fight this cause. Letting this go means giving away the chance of future generations to be as lucky as I can be to experience this nature. So it be attending every city hall meeting, garnering support from the locals or writing an environmental piece of this topic I know it will be worthwhile.
The contractor, committee members were unreachable when requested for an interview.
None of those quoted have been quoted directly for respective privacy and safety.