LETTER- Save McIntire... from botanical garden

[Re: the July 23 cover story: "Save McIntire... from what?"]:

Although it may seem counterintuitive, a botanical garden is not green. Just like the landscaping around most homes, the ultimate goal of a botanical garden is "perfection," with nary a leaf nibbled, even though plants exist to feed animals.

Such unrealistic human expectations result in wildlife being misunderstood and virtually banished from the garden. Consequently, the natural system of checks and balances does not exist in this artificial landscape, so it's impossible to avoid problems. (In nature-friendly gardens, there are very few, if any, difficulties.)

Because people fail to recognize the actual cause of these problems, they typically resort to pesticides to kill animals and uninvited plants, but pesticides can never be considered green– not even those touted as relatively harmless, such as Bt.

An idealistic garden is doomed to one crisis after another and results in too many animals killed, as likely will happen to the groundhog mentioned fondly by golf course groundskeeper Sandy Gray.

Regarding the placement of the YMCA in the park, officials should really reconsider. There are numerous beautiful trees that will be destroyed for the YMCA, toppling perhaps a century or more of growth in mere minutes.

The Hook asks, "Save McIntire... from what?" McIntire should be saved from ideas that are not green, such as placing a building on parkland instead of on an already paved-over area or from installing an artificial landscape instead of creating more natural areas.

Marlene A. Condon
Crozet, VA