This is a problem because in order to complete the bypass, every last tree, bush and blade of grass on the ten acres will have to be "removed" and several small hills up to twenty feet high will have to be leveled. I think most commuters stuck in the daily traffic jams on this major artery are willing to sacrifice a few trees to improve their commute time. For them and the city planners who approved this project I would like to offer a perspective on what we are giving up for our commuting convenience.
I ride my bike on the bike path passed this piece of land on a regular basis. During the hot summer months I appreciate the shade from the trees that provide a soft canopy dappled in sunlight, the cool breezes that filter down the hillside and the sight of any number of animals from deer to raccoons to hawks to squirrels and opossums, not to mention the dozens of song birds who make their home in this little patch of forest.
The bike path is built on an old railway line and there is a 100 year old stone bridge crossing the little creek in the woods. I stop occasionally to marvel at the large limestone blocks chipped out of a nearby quarry by men who have been dead longer than I have been alive. There is a dirt path that leads down from the height of the bridge to the stream bank and follows it through the wood until it emerges out into the park. I walked this path once and was amazed how after only a few twists and turns I felt like I was deep in a forest far from modern life. Although only a few hundred yards from the bike path, I could sit on a log by the stream bank, listen to the bird calls, the water gurgling over the round stones and at least pretend I was deep in the wilderness.
Yesterday I walked down the bike path knowing that my forest was gone. The bulldozers and road graders were parked on the black earth like giant, yellow insects waiting to devour their next meal. The bile rose in my throat as I walked closer. I was having a hard time recognizing where I was since all my familiar landmarks had been obliterated. The landscape reminded me of battlefield films and pictures. The trees had all been cut inches from the soil, their limbs and trunks gone, already hauled away. The churned up soil was littered with shredded plant debris, tree limbs broken into fibers as if separated by a bomb blast. I couldn't help but think of all the animals. I picture a moment like in the movie Avatar when the giant machines tear through the forest devastating everything in their path and the animals all running in the opposite direction to avoid annihilation.