— by Sadie Bailey —
I really appreciate the thought that went into Charlie Carver’s Letter to the Editor on March 6 (see orcasissues.com/waterfront-development-not-waterfront-reclamation/ ).Thank you for caring about Eastsound; so few Orcas people understand what we are up against here.
I would add one thing to your concerns that’s important to note. Behind the Outlook Inn, and on much of the Outlook’s land, is – or WAS –the Eastsound Swale – and there is precious little left of it, due to the development that has already happened there with the previous expansions. Without tree buffer, any and all pollutants, silt intrusion, and runoff are going to end up in Fishing Bay.
I’m dismayed and disappointed in EPRC’s continuing pushing of development in Eastsound, and the lack of understanding or disregard for anything except maximum development, while not taking the time and care to research the importance of intact watersheds and important wetlands such as Eastsound Swale. We are asking this small land mass area — one mile wide — to support a massive amount of growth, while taking down forests and mature trees and expecting that there won’t be wind and stormwater problems. Wrong! I beseech EPRC members to educate themselves on these matters, and truly represent us by protecting our environment in the UGA – ever more important, the increased development it’s being asked to sustain.
I encourage everyone who calls themselves a “planner” or a “visionary” to educate themselves on what happens when you develop a place to such extent that the trees — needed to support all that impervious surface — aren’t there to do their job.
I would like to bring the presentation by Cass Turnbull, founder of the non-profit organization Plant Amnesty to a Town Hall meeting and have a discussion following, so that people understand what we’re doing, and find another way than destroying Eastsound. You can see her 30-minute presentation “No Place for Old Trees” on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AoGZVnrPYA (part one, 30 minutes). Watch all of Cass Turnbull’s series on youtube, “No Place for Old Trees.” (four parts)
To read the series of articles on the importance of trees and open spaces, go to Plant Amnesty, http://www.plantamnesty.org/.
Cass Turnbull was a tireless advocate of why trees are important to save, in this age of rampant development. She died suddenly on January 27 – a great loss to us all.
Journalist Peggy Sturdivant wrote in a tribute to this regional activist, “In addition to founding and promoting Plant Amnesty Cass [Turnbull] started an independent political action committee, TreePac, to lobby for the public value of trees. Even during her busiest pruning season she was willing to spend evenings and weekends working on behalf of the Boards of Seattle Green Spaces Coalition Board, Plant Amnesty and TreePac. She showed up everywhere that trees and green spaces were on the agenda, or should be. Organizations all over the region are reeling as they learn the news. If trees are sentient they know they’ve lost their greatest protector, their mother bear.
“Cass had many big ideas and one of her recent ones, through TreePac, was to treat green space as a public utility, establishing tree banks to counteract pollution and reduce the environmental hazards of overbuilding, such as urban flooding, poor air quality, heat island effect. She knew her metrics cold, the percentage of Seattle that is currently impermeable/paved (64%) and was outraged that open space planning goals are being decreased even though they weren’t attained with less density. “We are not meeting our quantitative public open space goals now. We aren’t making any more green spaces. Solving one temporary problem now by creating a permanent one for the future is unwise policy.”
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