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  • Last modified 307 days ago (Feb. 14, 2018)

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Staying true to our roots

I think that I shall never see a thing more loathsome than a cut-down tree.

With apologies to Joyce Kilmer, we congratulate the City of Marion and arborist Pam Byer not so much for removing damaged trees in Central Park but for promising to plant new ones to replace them.

It’s sad when a massive old friend that has provided both shade and beauty for decades must come down, but our community’s commitment to the future by embarking on a program of replacing felled trees with new ones is right-headed and reassuring.

It’s not just Central Park, however, where new trees need to replace old ones.

Amid all the minutia of regulations the city promulgates about zoning and land use, one key provision is missing.

In a city known for its streets lined with stately trees, it should be a law that whenever a tree is felled, by nature or by man, it must be replaced.

The replacement need not be in the same exact location if the location is what proved problematic, but somewhere within the same property or as close to it as possible, a new tree needs to be planted and cared for anytime an old tree goes away.

Enacting such an ordinance would ensure that we, as the brief caretakers of our community, leave it in a condition at least as good as how we found it — as a town where the trees meet across the street and you wave your hand and say hello to everyone you meet.

Not everyone can afford to purchase and plant a new tree, of course. Instead of buying every new gadget and giving raises more generous than private businesses can, perhaps the city could set aside a few dollars a year to pay for helping plant new trees to replace old ones, giving both aid to those who can’t afford it and a small financial incentive to those who can.

Amid all the issues that confront us daily, a law requiring tree replacement is one we can all get behind. If city council members have the foresight to adopt such an ordinance, the cost of maintaining it will be trivial compared to the costs of such things as a new place to temporarily store and sort garbage.

In a community where politicians seem to have decided it’s better to spend five times as much on garbage as it would be to rescue the historic Bowron Building, spending a much lower amount to ensure the long-term beauty and comfort of our neighborhoods — and requiring that everyone contribute to the effort — is an idea whose time has come.

  • Eric Meyer

Last modified Feb. 14, 2018

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