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We must protect, replace trees

The question to build or not to build a new housing addition called the Riverstone Crossing First Addition has recently been the subject of newspaper articles, letters to the editor and public meetings. Both sides have voiced their concerns and visions.

My question is nature based: As a community, do we allow the last few natural mini forests in our community to be destroyed in the name of “Progress?”

I am not opposed to new housing additions and understand the need for new higher-end housing and the tax benefits that those properties bring. The successful housing addition like The Landing by the Wild Rose Casino was built on heavy clay, unproductive land. No trees of values were destroyed in its construction. Another new housing addition on Mill Creek Parkway also did not cut into any wooded areas.

Can the new houses in the Riverstone Crossing First Addition be built around the majestic mature trees? With my knowledge of trees and past experiences over the years, the answer is no! Tree roots are destroyed by the soil prep for sidewalks, driveways and streets and also by the large holes dug for foundations. Trees will also decline or die from soil compaction caused by heavy cement trucks and loads of lumber and Drywall.

Trees that are taken down or destroyed need to be replaced, if not in that addition then somewhere in the city. In the past, several Realtors have promised to replant trees needlessly taken down to secure sales; however, these promises were not kept. Shame on them!

The City of Clinton and Parks and Rec have done a much better job of planting trees in the past few years, but it is not enough. I commend the Tree Commission for its diligence and much-needed voice for the trees in our community and for working with the city to move forward.

With the devastating storm of Aug. 10, 2020, the need to replant all kinds of trees is needed more now than ever. My hat is off to the city officials and residents who cleaned up debris, with and without power. But the cleanup cannot be the end. A concerted effort needs to be made by all to replace trees lost to Emerald Ash borer, storm damage and new housing additions. Trees not only enhance our lives but also the lives of future generations.

Let 2021 be the year we pick ourselves up, dust off the carnage of 2020 and put planting trees high on our list to recovery.

Margo Hansen, Clinton