Yesterday I read a news story about a woman in Dallas who was clearing old, dead vines from a thicket along a park. Apparently there is a city ordinance that one cannot “cut, break, deface or in any way injure the trees shrubs, plants, grass, turf (just in case you don’t know what grass is) , fountains, seats, fences, structures, improvements, ornaments or monuments or property within or upon any of the public parks.”
Whew. Glad they covered all those bases.
The woman who did this dastardly deed, which led to an arrest and felony charge, is a 67 year old attorney. She was able to maintain a sense of humor and said she met lots of interesting people when she spent the night in jail. “I’ve never been in a perp walk before,” she said. “It was cool.”
The story in the Dallas Morning News reported that the woman had been cutting and removing briars, vines, and dead tree limbs from the wooded area of the park for several years. She never considered it “felonious gardening.” She was just trying to be helpful.
This is another case where the strict adherance to the letter of the law is absurd. This woman was not hurting or defacing the shrubs. What she was doing was what many gardeners do to improve an area and encourage new growth. It was CLEAN UP. And, yes, I’m shouting.
Could we please use a little common sense when it comes to enforcing the law?