Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A Response

Yesterday, when we walked the trail, I was surprised to see that after a week my little banner was still hanging on the razer wire. We added more of the "good neighbor" quote tags.

Today the quotes were gone, but my banner had been turned around and this message written on the back:

"To Whom it May Concern,
Our intent is not to offend but to protect our effort to maintain the natural beauty of our environment. Our goal is to not only enhance the beauty of our environment but to protect it from those wishing to harm it. We welcome open communication and input from you to assist us in this endeavor. Please leave us a contact number.

Portland Golf Club"

I guess that puts the ball back into our court. We are thinking about what our response should be. I do not see myself leaving my phone number taped to the fence! We are not walking for a few days because Beth will be out of town, so we have a few days to ponder it. How do you respond to an "intent . . . not to offend" that offends, nevertheless? And, how is it that razer wire furthers a "goal to . . . enhance the beauty of our environment"?

How would you respond to a sincere golf club?


  1. Who would have ever thought? I am having a hard time with what their concern for the environment is all about -- possibly uncluttered fences. Someone doesn't get it that razor wire is ugly, dangerous and meant to give bad folks in not good folks out. But that is beside the point.

    I think that I would start composing my list of objections and then see what happens. The doubter in me sees this as an affront on them but I also think that they see it as a possible public relations nightmare.

    Pretty prickly, I must say. Keep us advised.


  2. It seems that their "environment" which needs to be protected and preserved is really the golf greens and not the broader environment that surrounds them. That's how I interpret the note.

    As an artist, can you think of a type of fence, enclosure, which would serve their purpose (containment of property) and serve the trail better? Some type of wooden, multi-painted fence? I picture Ecuadoran art those colors!

    I think you've caught their attention but they don't seem to have a clue for an alternative to razor wire.

    Once again, a picture is worth a thousand words - find an example of a suitable replacement (let's face it, they're not gonna remove their boundary), and hang the picture next to the sign.

    Such a shame.

    I love that you and your girlfriend are such activists though. Go get 'em, tigers :>)

  3. I would think that a couple of straight rows of barbed wire across the top of the fence would be adequate to 'protect their environment' and would blend into the environment a lot more. I imagine it would also be safer for wildlife than what they have there now. At least they're willing to talk, I guess that's something.

  4. Anonymous8:40 PM

    I think, to answer your question, that you respond as you did on the blog -- by asking them how razor wire can not offend, how can it not make walkers on the path feel threatened as well as unwelcomed, making nature lovers view the formerly welcoming environment as edged with knives, and so forth. What would they suggest they might do to improve their neighborliness, to welcome rather than chide....

    No contact info yet, for sure, and done, perhaps, with a bit of graphic glory (knowing your graphic capabilities) -- what might be there/ what is there...
    But you've thought of all this, I'm sure. I'm loving the story, by the way, and keep coming back to see what has happened. June

  5. Anonymous11:20 PM

    No need to leave your phone number on the fence, send a letter of introduction to the Golf Club itself. Obviously the razor wire was added because a mere chain link fence was not enough to keep out midnight vandals. Perhaps you can brainstorm with the golf club (via mail or in person) to find a suitable compromise to keep vandals out, yet preserve the beauty for both the club users and the walking path users.

  6. Anonymous5:53 AM

    I can't believe a golf club, who puts more toxic crap on the grass to keep it green than you can possibly imagine, has anything to offer in the way of help to the environment. They have some set!However, in the interest of you(and what else matters really) a suggestion regarding razor wire and the message it sends,the picture it presents, and the harm to little creatures it does, might be worth writing. I hope it helps and things look less like a concentration camp soon.

  7. So exciting. I am just loving this story. Maybe you could take a two pronged attack and continue to challenge the golf club, but also send a message to the (alleged) vandals who must have been scaling the fence. If they behaved better maybe the golf club wouldn't feel they had to resort to such extreme measures. By the way, how are the irises coming?

  8. Anonymous10:05 AM

    Well, they obviously don't get it. So, you probably won't have much luck reasoning with them. But, you might suggest that the razor wire part of the fence come down and if they are really feeling threatened by intruders, to plant some of Mother Nature's "razor wire" along the fence--holly, wild roses, blackberries come to mind. Years ago I had a teenager who liked to climb out a bedroom window and wander around town at night. I planted an especially prickly bunch of rose bushes under his window. It worked at keeping him in and the roses are still far more beautiful than any of the other things we thought of.