Lake Wildwood: Residents should have soul |

Lake Wildwood: Residents should have soul

Have you ever thought about places as having a soul Ð small or great, nurturing or destructive, gentle or fierce? The Lake Wildwood community is such a place with a soul. And it is touched and altered by the residents and their individual regard or disregard for the community as a whole.

At this point in time, there are a couple of issues facing the residents which will affect the soul of LWW. Those issues include the trees and the lake. I would like to talk about the trees and leave the health of our lake to the scientists.

It seems that most people have come to LWW from the Bay Area or from Southern California; a few even move here from elsewhere in the county. They move here to downsize, raise families, to start a business or to retire. Those who choose LWW are attracted to the friendly, woodsy community so close to Nevada City and Grass Valley, the golf course, and the lake. The trees, especially, have a powerful presence that surround each of us with a cocoon-like environment – a big difference from San Jose and Los Angeles.

What always amazes me is the “newcomer” that chooses this area for its peacefulness and beauty and then wants to cut the trees down in their yard to make way for their own agenda. I am not talking about cutting trees to make way for a new home or trees that are dead, diseased or a danger to surrounding trees or buildings. I am referring to healthy and mature trees being cut down for a vegetable garden or a slightly better view.

We have a great Environmental Management Group that looks at each situation and gives the final OK, or not, for the betterment of the community. And there is a fine if you cut trees down without approval. Whether you like all the rules or not is almost irrelevant; when you choose to be “in community” with others you also choose to uphold the rules (and to help change them as necessary) since that is what makes the community work. In one sense, the rules are regulated manners to insure that everyone has an equal chance to enjoy certain attributes of the environment.

There are always those who will avoid the approval process because they know that it won’t be granted. They look at the fine for cutting down trees as part of the cost necessary to meet their agenda. I had heard about this but had not seen it happening, until last week. While on my morning walk, I noticed that a tree crew of 6 or 7 men had just arrived at a home at 7:30 a.m. When I came back around at 8:45 am, the crew was gone, the mess was cleaned up and more than a dozen mature trees were gone. It was later confirmed that there was no approval and there appeared to be no regard for how this impacted neighbors.

A fine will be assessed. But, how does an association put a fair price on a healthy tree that is many years old. Whatever the price is, it needs to be high enough to discourage personal agendas. If everyone ignored the rules, we would look just like the places we moved away from.

Cooperation benefits all and builds good will. And the longer you live “in community” the more you come to appreciate that over a minor personal preference. We need to work together to make a place with soul. In the end, it is how we provide comfort to our lives and nurture our hearts.


Got a tip about someone or something in Lake Wildwood? Contact Shirl Mendonca at 432-3787 or via e-mail.

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