Good job, Joe Eskenazi. Read the whole thing here.
Via Two Gardens.
I just want to pull out one point.
"I find the nativism movement particularly disturbing, in large part because of its origins in Nazi Germany," wrote local native plant movement critic Steve Sayad in an e-mail. In a recent online debate with a plant aficionado, Sayad referred to native plant restoration as a "racist and sexist cult" befitting a "Green Nazi." Several other public critics of tree removal in the Presidio agreed that local native plant enthusiasts' ethos was derived from Nazism.Comparing people you disagree with with Nazis must be debate's cheapest and most exhausted strategy. As soon as I hear it put forth, I think "This is a lame an unserious position; I'm tuning it out."
"Nazis, yeah. That's a term I've heard since day one," says Peter Brastow, a genial, red-bearded man who looks as if he strolled off a container of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. Now the executive director of the nonprofit Nature in the City, he was Chassé's predecessor at the Presidio, maintaining the Raven's manzanita site for more than a decade. "Nazi and fascist — yeah, I hear those terms a lot."
For the record, the Nazis were indeed enthusiasts of native plant gardens, and did extol the superiority of German plants. However, they actively sought to "Germanize" the landscapes of neighboring countries — the very opposite of the native plant movement's goal. Also, they killed people.
You know, unless the discussion is about actual genocide.