This ban on feeding birds and Squirrels will “criminalize” an act of kindness. Many seniors, disabled, immigrants and lonely New Yorkers’ favorite pastime in the parks is feeding a few birds or squirrels. What is the harm? Now, they will be targeted with fines and, in some cases, a day in jail.
Wildlife Management is not a “one size fits all” policy and many city parks lack the trees and/or plants that provide the seeds, nuts, and berries needed to support the squirrels and birds. Unfortunately, many parks have been landscaped for human enjoyment, but there has been little thought given to the wildlife that resides there.
The parks state that they won’t enforce the ban. However, if that is truly the case and they really feel it is not a rule that is worth enforcing, one has to wonder why it would be adopted in the first place. This rule is insensitive to our New Yorkers and in the case of many seniors, is mean-spirited. In fact, Liliana, a Romanian immigrant, who is 75 years old with stage 4 cancer, feed the birds. She has stated how therapeutic this has been for her, in her letter published by the NY Daily News. Currently, she is emotionally distraught at the thought of this ban being implemented, feeling once it is adopted, all she can do is stay home and wait to die.
Educate people on responsible feeding but do not criminalize a kind gesture.