To the editor:
The city’s parks department’s proposed rule banning feeding squirrels and birds on park property is framed as being for the wildlife’s well-being and not disturbing the healthy balance between wildlife and their habitats.
First, the parks are not the wild, but an urban environment, and by design, do not supply sustainable food sources, nor a reliable source for clean water for the wildlife. Expecting them to forage for food in the parks as they would in the wild makes no sense.
If New York City parks don’t want people to feed birds and squirrels, they must provide the wildlife in the park with natural habitat, including natural food sources and water.
Meanwhile, educating the public on the proper food to feed should be the priority, not criminalizing people for taking on the altruistic responsibility of feeding the squirrels and birds as the parks department refuses to accept responsibility for them.
Starving animals is not the solution.