Lose Tollgate and we lose wildlife

Have you ever seen a heron catching a fish from a stream? How about a tall, leafy tree reverberating with the ecstatic songs of a thousand birds? Or sunlit hawks gliding majestically over a pasture as they patrol for a tasty field-mouse morsel?

I have. You know where? At Tollgate, as I walk to and from North Bend Animal Clinic where I work.

I'm an animal lover by nature and thoroughly enjoy the cats, dogs, hedgehogs, rats, boas, chickens and pot-bellied pigs that come through our clinic doors. But it's an added bonus to see animals in the wild as I walk home down 202 toward North Bend.

Hey, I've only said a little. There's more. That blue heron glided with its prey from the stream to the grassy field nearby, raised its head to the sky, and gulped down that 9-incher whole. The feathery little residents of the singing tree shot out from their hiding places in the leaves one day and zigzagged through the air, with their buddy hawk accompanying them. What a sight, the gentle glider and the wing-flapping zoomers, friends in the sky.

I could go on and on, but maybe that's enough to whet our appetites to let nature stay nature. We don't need a concrete jungle destroying this beautiful native habitat. Its inhabitants won't hang around if the pasture turns to pavement and the verdant landscape to a gray industrial park. We can afford taxes of about $10 a month to keep our heritage and the heritage of our furry and feathered friends.

Please mark your calendar to vote on Sept. 18, and give a solid "yes" to keeping Tollgate Farm. Thanks!

Shirley Bridgman

North Bend

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