BEYOND THE FENCE: Revving up for new life as Deer Haven Park

Nature hums. Have you heard it? Such requires one’s silence of thought, one’s ceasing of activity. Moreover, it requires a detachment from the everyday to a place where nature is unencumbered by the roar of mankind. Here, life’s essence fills the air with a multitude of melodious energies emanating from insects and birds, reptiles and mammals, all blissfully united in harmony. Like the Siren’s song, it’s captivating, this hum, enticing you, drawing you in, demanding your audience.

Beyond the fence at the former Seneca Army Depot one can hear the hum in the area newly dubbed Deer Haven Park, LLC. It was here where a small group of administrators from Seneca White Deer, Inc. (SWD) met one rainy day in July. Huddled beneath a scanty shelter, this small circle of folks were anticipant to emit their own positive, heartfelt human energy to the choir, albeit a meager backdrop to nature’s perfected score. Nonetheless, all present were very well aware of the 20-plus years of energy invested in endless pleas and petitions, letters and lectures, travels and sacrifices, functions and fundraisers that culminated in this very moment.

Finally, the public would be permitted guided tours into the world beyond the fence. There was still much to be done. It felt like just the beginning. As raindrops pelted the dirt-covered pavement just inside the fence’s entrance, sending smatterings of mud up in fanlike projections, plans were formulated, ideas shared, huge decisions voted upon. For what was once a dream of this small not-for-profit organization and its supporters — to preserve the land, its military history, the white deer and all wildlife within — had now become a reality.

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