My brother told me this sad story: He is selling his house, which has in back a patio, a strip of grass, and a small wooded area with native flowers and bushes, paths, and places to sit. A prospective buyer came through and liked the house, but she was worried. Where would her children play? She discussed cutting down the trees, including some young oaks, in order to put up a swing set and gym. He tried to explain the value of a small natural area for wildlife and humans (reconciliation ecology in action). Children need nature, and what better place to find it than the back yard?
Trying to sell a house in this economy is sad, or certainly difficult enough, but my brother and I shook our heads over this prospective buyer's truly sad lack of imagination. Had her children been along she might have been surprised at their reaction to the backyard--most likely it would have been incredibly positive. My brother was relieved not to be selling to her.