Long time residents of the area, Gray and Brown Squirrel, say this "trend" has been a long time in the making. After years of neglect, the playground and surrounding picnic areas have finally been renovated, bringing with it a more affluent, pattisserie patronizing clientele of human, that leaves behind plenty of crumbs. Others say it has more to do with the recent enforcement of canine leash laws than with a never ending supply of bakery, that brings White Squirrel to the 'hood.
"Try taking your family out for a stroll some Saturday morning in the Long Meadow before 9am, it's mad scary. It wasn't always called "Harmony". Back in the day, you could lose your entire offspring even here in this playground. You never see dogs inside the gates now, it's much safer foraging. After all these years things start looking up, and all of a sudden White Squirrel moves in like he's discovered the place. " -Gray Squirrel
Everyone in the Park agrees on one thing. The woods are not going to stay the same forever. Brown Squirrel points out that affordable housing is urgently needed. Nest and burrow prices have more than tripled in our neck of the woods. More and more multi-family trees are being converted to single family burrows. Long time residents are being displaced, forced out into less desirable meadows. "Just try and get a place inside the Botanical Gardens," adds Brown Squirrel.
What does White Squirrel have to say about the controversy?
"Other Squirrels are saying lots of things, I like my new leafy nest by the playground. Sure you got Connecticut Muffin and the Two Hens but I won't eat that bakery out of the garbage cans... there's plenty of organic nuts at the co op. I moved here because I like the gritty vibe. I'm really a pioneer, the first of his kind"
The intense demand focused on just a few attractive wooded areas has brought out the big developers. Forrest City Rodent has begun to buy up most of the trees directly along side the playground, forcing some squirrels to take opposing sides. Two rival rodent groups have come out for and against the F.C.R. plan. Citizens for the Revitalization of Urban Mammal Society (C.R.U.M.S.) is opposed while A.C.O.R.N. has publicly sided with the developer. For now, both sides are digging in for the approaching winter.
Two family trees, like this one near the play ground, have tripled in price.