Sunday, September 13, 2009

Marilyn Wellons Explains How the DCR Plans to Destroy Mature Trees Along Memorial Drive

Kathy Podgers comments on DCR plans to destroy hundreds of healthy mature trees on Memorial Drive, along the Charles River in Cambridge:

Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation is progressing with its plans to destroy HUNDREDS of healthy mature trees along Memorial Drive in Cambridge MA. Marilyn Wellons of CIPAPA and Friends of the White Geese is not your "ordinary" tree hugger. She has attended most, if not all meetings held by the DCR in their vain attempt to garner public support for their destructive policies.

Not only has the DCR failed to get the public support it desired, but thousands have written, signed petitions, and just plain voiced negative opinions during public testimony at public meetings. Still, the DCR bulldozes ahead, I am not exaggerating, with the development of this precious riverfront resource.

Here is an excerpt from Marilyn's recent letter to the Cambridge Conservation Commission:

"In addition to protecting water quality, the Wetlands Protection Act, WPA, charges the Commission with protection of all habitat in wetland and associated areas, not simply habitat of rare or endangered species. Please note, then, that this project does not restore habitat critical to the health of our metropolitan area. Rather, it destroys it. Memorial Drive here, now, is indisputably habitat to hawks, small mammals, waterfowl and other birds, including migrants. Its mature trees and woody and herbaceous plants from the river to its northern side provide food and shelter for them. The plants beauty and shade constitute human habitat essential for our physical, mental, and spiritual re-creation. Their photosynthesis sequesters carbon from passing cars and improves the air for all. The trees and smaller plants along the shore and banks also prevent erosion. One, Amorpha fruticosa, is used elsewhere in the United States for the erosion control that is central to water quality here as well. The discussion of this plant at 3.3 Invasive Species is more than disturbing. A. fruticosa holds the bank for free. The DCR will eradicate it. Resprouts from the deep-growing roots that make it so valuable for erosion control will be treated with Rodeo. On its face this plan is contrary to the WPA."

And comments from Marilyn......

"The DCR is not content with stewardship of a mature landscape on the Charles. It is hungry for projects to serve its own bureaucratic needs and its design-development constituents. It will devour that landscape to get a project, as here."

Estimates of $6 to $8 millions of taxpayers’ money will be wasted on this wanton destruction of habitat. It is ironic, considering that the DCR recently cried poor when they abruptly closed 21 of 27 public swimming pools around the state in Mid August, in the midst of a hot humid heat wave. The pools shut down were in Lowell, Lawrence, Everett, Somerville, Brighton, Brocton, Worchester, Springfield, So Hadley, among others.

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