Saturday, July 18, 2009

Marked for death

When I walked out the front door today to go get the mail, I noticed that the trees in the lot across the street have been marked for removal. OK, I knew that the lot had been sold, and that a house would be built there soon . . . but what surprised me was the sheer number of trees that will be destroyed because of one house. Many of these are maple trees whose color bursts in the fall. Others - a few - are hardwoods so old and large, I can't put my arms around them. 

In all, I counted fifty trees marked with orange X's. All for one house. It made me sick. This is so ridiculous. Why did the developer even buy this land in the first place? It's not like we have lots of trees in central Indiana. Why are we in such a hurry to destroy the few trees we do have?

What does this say about the state of the world we live in? OK, maybe this sounds hypocritical coming from me. After all, I chose to build in a new subdivision in the suburbs. Therefore, I contributed to the problem. Believe me, guilt has been knocking on my door over the last few years, as I've witnessed firsthand the environmental impact of new construction and development. I never really understood the damage this does - until I saw it for myself. I could justify it somewhat by saying that at least when we built our house, only four trees were removed. Not fifty, for crying out loud. But I still feel guilty.

I am so angry and sad about this situation today. I want to chain myself to the big sycamore tree or climb up and live in it like Julia Butterfly Hill. I want to put up signs that say CUTTING DOWN TREES IS MURDER!!! But of course, I won't.

I wonder if our new neighbors have any idea that fifty trees are coming down? I wonder if they'll be surprised next time they stop by, when they realize the damage done? I wonder if they have a clue that instead of seeing a nice wooded area in their backyard, they'll be seeing the adjacent subdivision (previously hidden by the trees)?

Goodbye, beautiful trees.