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  • Last modified 1477 days ago (Sept. 3, 2014)

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A growing challenge to Marion's future

I think that I shall never see, I sight more troubling than a missing tree. We can’t protect our arboreal heritage from devastating storms, of course, but we absolutely can and should be investing in our community’s future by aggressively replanting each and every tree lost to disaster, disease, or disregard.

A poem printed on calendars years ago extolled the virtues of communities like Marion with the stanza:

I like to live in a little town

Where the trees meet across the street

Where you wave your hand and say hello

To everyone you meet

Residents of these parts still regard it as the height of rudeness for even the most casual of acquaintances to neglect to “speak to you” during chance encounters. However, the days of being able to walk beneath uninterrupted leafy canopies, shading not only sidewalks but also roadways, are rapidly vanishing.

Trees are cut down left and right to clear utility lines, create parking spaces on yards, provide quick fixes for damage or disease, gather firewood, or simply eliminate the supposed burden of raking.

Yet these trees, stately lining residential areas, are every bit as much a part of Marion’s charm and appeal as is the lush foliage in Central Park.

Government is probably too burdened paying its burgeoning workforce to adopt financial incentives for planting new trees, but it certain should consider an ordinance requiring that every property owner who removes a tree plant a replacement or contribute to a fund that would pay for replacements elsewhere in town.

Businesses can get in the act, too. Bring us a photo of one or more replacement trees you plant, and we’ll extend your subscription an extra month. Whether it’s a free cup of coffee or a small discount on goods or services, incentives add up if enough businesses are willing to encourage investing in the quality of life in Marion 20, 50, even 100 years from now.

It’s not a huge idea but one whose time has come. Plant a tree and protect the future. No, it won’t focus as much attention on you as would dumping a bucket of ice water on your head, but charity shouldn’t be about the donor. It should be able the donation and what it will do.

We don’t need to spend thousands of dollars writing grant requests to do something that will help develop our community. We just need to take out our shovels and dig.

  • ERIC MEYER

Last modified Sept. 3, 2014

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