On my commute home I pass a small section of bush on one of Sydney's steepest hills, in Denistone. Surrounded by a school and housing, it's holding out. In the tug-of-war between development and green public spaces, public space has topography on its side. Either way, it's a bit of bush in the middle of the suburbs, in 2016, and that's something to behold.
The reserve has always been neglected. The grass adjacent to the bike path that runs next to it is regularly skipped by the council maintenance crew, and dead and fallen branches are always left where they fell. Recently though, it received a clean up, which also exposed the meticulously groomed mountain bike trail, jumps and walking track that's been there for years.
Today there was a new sign near the trail head. It's not good for mountain bikers.
I've never understood why a council needs to have a meeting to discuss the potential closure of a 60cm wide, well-maintained MTB trail in Denistone for 'environmental reasons,' while large tracts of bush are readily cleared by bigger rubber stamps for new mines or roads and labelled, 'progress.'
When will a user-built mountain bike or walking trail, in an otherwise unused section of bush be considered progress? Why is 'progress' always hijacked by bureaucrats and a political process that wants to destroy what the community organically creates, then serve it back to them, devoid of flavour, character and generosity, but only if they beg, "please sir, can I have some more sir?"
Trails improve the lives of many kids, and grown-up kids alike. We don't need to close a trail, only to fight to have it rebuilt, just so those in power can pat themselves on the back for providing what the community already identified as worthy of creating. But those bureaucrats certainly do.