A proposal to amend Milwaukee County Ordinance 47.08 to allow foraging of fruit, nuts and certain varieties of fungi was defeated by Milwaukee County supervisors after receiving strong opposition from FOGP and others. We opposed the ordinance due to the probability of increased foot traffic on sensitive off-trail areas of the park by those in search of certain plant materials. Other parks have reported extirpation of numerous species due to foraging practices. The ordinance would have applied to ALL county parks. Similarly sized metropolitan parks in other cities have all banned the practice.
Nature has provided a variety of plant materials to support the various animals and birds that inhabit the park as they seek food to sustain themselves. Similar sources of food are available for human consumption at farmer’s markets and grocery stores. When humans gather plant materials from the parks, they deprive the resident animals and birds thereby increasing the likelihood that their numbers will decline. Is that what we wish for?