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Homeowner scrambles to save neighborhood wetland from ‘Negative Nancy’ neighbor: ‘This could be happening in your backyard as well’

“I did not choose this and it is what it is.”

"I did not choose this and it is what it is."

Photo Credit: iStock

The grass may not always be greener on the other side of the fence, but it can apparently be too tall, at least if you’re the “Negative Nancy” in question in a recent Reddit post. 

A homeowner who is also a sustainability professional recently turned to Reddit for advice in a plea posted to the r/Permaculture subreddit, “a community for likeminded individuals to discuss permaculture and sustainable living.” 

“Need help saving wetland,” reads the heading of the post

“I need help ‘sourcing technical and academic resources to educate my neighbors’ and conserve a very small wetland in my HOA controlled neighborhood,” they continue. “Please no comments about HOAs. I did not choose this and it is what it is. This could be happening in your backyard as well.”

The previously mentioned “Negative Nancy,” the OP explains, is complaining about the tall grass in the stormwater detention pond behind her house. She wants the grass removed to see the pond’s surface water. 

The OP points out that they are in Venice, Florida — an area near drought conditions — and that the pond plays an important part in the bigger ecosystem. The grass provides food and shelter for birds and other wildlife, and the resident wants to make that case to their neighbor and the homeowners association. 

“I tried to go real over the top and explain that it’s an ecosystem service and not an ornamental reflection pond,” they explain, “But the HOA wants to ‘please everyone’ and is still asking me for a remedy. So I’m going to keep advocating that we need to please the Earth, and that’s where I’m asking for help.” 

The poster says ponds and wetlands aren’t their specialty, so they are trying to quickly research, stating they think their best advantage is that “the Southwest coast of Florida is crippled with red tide algae blooms every year in the Gulf of Mexico.” 

It’s not just that area, either. A homeowner in Jacksonville recently found dead fish floating in their neighborhood due to toxic algae.

The poster is right to want to preserve the wetland and to ask for advice, as HOAs can be notoriously difficult to work with, often opting for aesthetics above all else, denying solar panels, native lawns, and other environmentally friendly options. 

So, while this Redditor did not want to dive into HOA criticisms, knowing how to talk to and work with an HOA when you disagree is critical in matters such as protecting vital ecosystems like this pond. 

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