TO THE EDITOR:Editor’s Note: This letter was sent to the Weston Board of Selectmen, Land Use Director, Conservation Planner, and Conservation Commission chair, and published here by request of the writer.
Having lived here for over 30 years I can see this town with a perspective that I might not have had when I moved here from the New York City. Our planet is facing huge challenges in dealing with the effects global warming and loss of native habitat. The impact of our actions on our own 2 acre properties and the town properties carries more weight now than ever before.
As a member of the Garden Club we were involved in sparing this Oak tree seven years ago. I was quite frankly astonished that our Oak tree has again been targeted for removal. This tree, one of only eight Notable Trees in Weston, is irreplaceable and it is impossible to overstate the impact of cutting it down. Although it will take years for any new plantings to acquire the beneficial environmental heft of this large and mighty Oak, steps must be taken now to ensure that other trees are planted as soon as possible to help to offset its loss.
A re-appraisal of our ability as a town to ensure that our trees are protected and revered is in order. The proposed removal of this iconic Oak in Weston has stirred a lot of contemplation about our individual roles and the official role of the town of Weston in protecting the environment. We can ensure this happens on public property and we can ask our citizens to do the same and act as responsible environmental stewards of the land on which they live.
The new Town Green furthers this goal by being a model for our residents and a place to see thoughtful environmentally conscious planning. School campus and ball fields also offer an opportunity to positively impact the ecosystem and be a working example to our kids and their parents of sound ecological landscaping practices. Towards this end, the planting of natives and replacing non-native invasive species with native species is an important goal.
It is most important that the school and town grounds staff be aware of the latest protocols for sustainable landscaping and that the entire campus is managed as a cohesive whole and with care and thought. Weston is proud to be a part of the Pollinator Pathway, School Road and Town Green can be an active part if the grounds staff are knowledgeable and are educated in these principles.
To further all these goals, as proposed by Sarah Hutchinson, I would very much like to see a Forestry Commission similar to Fairfield, with the same goal of managing and supporting a tree planting program and additionally, overseeing new planting areas for a healthy ecosystem in Weston. In this way private homeowners will be able to learn about the impact of their decisions on our environment as we lead by example.
— Karin Feingold
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