Just about the center of Hastings, just on the north side of West 19th Street, sits a large grassy mound that many people don't realize covers over an old landfill site. This area was once on the outskirts of town and received its waste until about 50 years ago when it was covered over and housing sprang up all around it. I've lived just south of that barren mound for 25 years now and have always wondered why more hasn't been done to beautify this unused acreage.

Two years ago I worked with a group to establish a pollinator garden of natural wild flowers located on the southwest corner of this lot, but I feel that so much more could be done to reclaim the land that was abused in the past. Perhaps a controlled burn could be conducted to rid the area of dead undergrowth, followed by an over seeding of more wildflower varieties.

As we sit and watch the rainforests burn while watching the nightly news, I'm suggesting that we as a community could do something locally. There are plenty of areas on this old dump site that could support new tree growth to help reclaim and beautify this natural setting in the middle of our community.

I hope with the support of the city and civic groups, that some positive action can take place. We used this area as a dump when our community was growing so why can't we grow things on this mound to help heal the scars that we left on the land.

Mark P. O'Brien