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Chainlink in the Lodi Lake nature area?

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Posted: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 2:27 pm

One of Lodi’s truly special places is the nature area at Lodi Lake.

Through the years, I’ve walked and jogged the area, often with my wife Judy and, when they were younger, our boys.

I’ve also done a little bit of birdwatching and photo-taking there.

You can’t spend any real time in the nature area without spotting wildlife, whether it be a squirrel scampering up an oak, a deer nibbling grass, or a turtle lolling on a downed tree at Pig’s Lake.

It is green and quiet and lush, an oasis.

So, on a recent jaunt throught the area, I was surprised to see a barricade of chain link next to Pig’s Lake.

A few years ago, you could actually hike or jog around the little lake. You’d have to watch your footing on the uneven trail and dodge a few blackberry tentacles, but the views of the lake and the adjacent river were worth the effort.

No more. The chainlink stands as barrier to those who would try to circle the lake.

I’ve heard about erosion problems in the strip that seperates the lake from the river, and I understand the need to keep visitors out of that area now.

But seriously — a stretch of chain link fence, complete with gate and lock?

A simple sign would suffice.

Or better yet: Nothing.

The brush and bramble, grown dense without foot traffic, is enough at this point to keep people away.

The barricade of sagging chainlink looks messy and out of place. It’s an eyesore. And it can’t be beneficial for the flow of wildlife in the area.

I talked with Jeff Hood, parks, recreation and cultural services director for Lodi. I guess I haven’t been paying attention, because Jeff said the fence has been up for at least a few years. Jeff mentioned the need to keep people away and prevent further erosion.

“Otherwise, Pig's Lake may become the Bay of Pigs,” he said.

Nice line.

But the fencing is, IMHO, overkill.

A metallic blight in one of Lodi’s most special places.

Any other nature area fans have a take on this?

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