The problems with ‘progress’

As you know, I put a lot of work into my yard. Trying to get grass to grow (as well some of my plants) isn’t as easy as you would think it should be. I’ve even come close to throwing in the towel and simply put down mulch to cover over the bare spots. But since I live on the fringe of the woods, I want to try to maintain as much of the natural beauty as possible.

Of course, my development wouldn’t exist without destroying the natural beauty that existed. With progress comes some sort of destruction, and that is what is currently going on with the new development that is being built near my house. Every day, when I drive passed the construction site, more and more trees are gone, and more dirt has been moved to level out the original hill that existed there. But even with this destruction comes a bit of beauty … if you’re an engineer like I use to be.

Tree MulcherThe size and shapes of some of the equipment they’ve brought in to do the site development are impressive. I’ve seen Volvo dump trucks, tree mulchers (see photo), and even JCB backhoes. In just a few days, they were able to clear-cut approximately 20 acres and are currently leveling the lot. In the past, it would have taken an army of wood cutters to do all this work, but now they can do it with about 20 or 30 workers. Very impressive.

But while it is impressive, I wish they would have done a better job of preserving the existing trees and build the new homes around them. That is what the developers of our neighborhood did, and we are surrounded by full-growth trees. It will take 20 years to recover (environmentally) the amount of damage the site developer has done. I know it is cheaper to do it this way, but there is value to be saved by saving at least “some” of the trees.


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