To the Editor:
First of all, I would like to express my appreciation to the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank, which has preserved lands on Martha’s Vineyard that were not accessible to the public just a short time ago. The commissioners and staff work collaboratively with other organizations, create a useful map of all conservation land on the Vineyard, and creatively develop land deals that benefit all of us. The staff are friendly and helpful, both at the Land Bank office and all the properties we have visited. Over the past 10 years, I have visited every Land Bank property many times.
We live close to the Trade Winds property, and have been taking our dogs there for over 15 years. In the past, I always noticed the signs asking people not to walk on the meadows, and I also witnessed dog owners ignoring these signs. I have seen dog waste on the meadows, which damages plant life and spreads bacteria. We also have watched dog owners ignoring their dogs as they dig holes in the protected areas. If dog owners could have paid attention to these signs, perhaps there would be no need for a fence at this time. The fence is much more appealing and useful than the vulgar signs that have popped up in Oak Bluffs.
One last point: Dogs live 10 to 15 years. They complement our human lives for a short time, but the valuable and rare plant species that grow in our Vineyard meadows have the potential to carry on forever. Botanists from all over the country travel to the Vineyard to document our flora. Let’s protect them while we can, and enjoy walking with our pets while we admire the rare species we have on the Island.