A long-time Fort Myers resident initiated an anti-pot hole campaign last week, and it wasn’t a petition! Bryan Raymond, the owner of Progress and Pride Fitness Group was fed up with the treacherous, tire-eating potholes dotting the roads in his neighborhood.
Honda Drive is a private street and the onus is on local business owners to repair roads. On more than one occasion Mr. Raymond took the initiative and filled some of the holes with cement. However, that was just a band-aid solution to the seemingly endless pothole epidemic.
Mr. Raymond had the brilliant strategy to incorporate the pothole into a neighborhood beautification project. So he bought a bag of potting soil, picked up his shovel, and planted a six-foot banana tree in the offending orifice!
The tree placement was actually designed to be a safety measure, as cars must veer around it as they navigate the road. Although some local drivers are not at all pleased with this strategy. Other locals think it’s a better option than blowing out a tire or cracking your chassis. More importantly, though, the tree makes a profound statement and is garnering a lot of media attention.
“If we have to maintain it and make sure nobody gets hurt, we are going to put something obvious there to make sure nobody gets in the hole,” Raymond told television station WBBH.
Through the years, his security cameras have captured countless close encounters between unsuspecting drivers and gaping holes. Mr. Raymond has witnessed far too many vehicles sustain severe damage from those encounters. He was determined to elicit positive change with his middle-of-the-road tree planting efforts.
“I love it, I think it’s hilarious. We should have more of these,” said Scott Shein, who works at a nearby business, told WBBH. “I think it is sending a message.”
Other individuals encountering untended potholes have also decided to counter the problem with some well-placed trees. One Massachusetts gentleman incorporated a seasonal flair into his efforts by planting Christmas trees!
Recently, Kevin Martin was driving on Route 1 when he unexpectedly encountered a series of deep potholes. He was despondent when he realized the extent of the damage was four flattened tires. So much for his Saturday night dinner plans. Pleas to local and state government fell upon deaf ears, so Mr. Martin drove to Home Depot and selected several small Christmas trees. The following Monday, on his way to work, he gleefully planted the tiny decorative trees in all the potholes.
“Looks like someone is getting into the Christmas spirit early… guess that is one way to fill potholes?” the North Attleborough Police Department wrote in a since-deleted Facebook post.
Trees lovingly planted in the middle of the road can be perceived as a huge inconvenience. However, their presence is unequivocally vital to our existence. Undoubtedly, humans are a constant threat to sustainable ecosystems. These inconveniently placed beauties serve to remind us of their undeniable value. We must learn to slow down as we navigate uncertain pathways with respect and caution.