Money can’t buy back beauty

by Maureen Parker

The possible rezoning of 700 acres of land previously earmarked to become part of Haw River State Park has been much in the news. If the rezoning is upheld, the land will be sold and “developed” (read “destroyed”) to build a gated community and a golf course. The matter is scheduled to come before the Guilford County Commissioners in December. They will decide whether to uphold or reject the rezoning.

Protecting natural land and wild places should be a top priority as the earth heats up. It seems inconceivable that the Guilford County Commissioners would actually approve this rezoning or any other that would destroy more trees. Do they think these particular trees don’t count? If this happens, it suggests that our elected officials are living in the past. There were so many trees then that a few didn’t matter one way or the other.

The point is that they did matter. We just didn’t realize it.

Perhaps previous commissioners didn’t fully understand what they were doing, but our current commissioners must be aware that environmental stewardship is crucial to the future of the earth. Trees help reduce global warming. The 700 acres of land earmarked for Haw River State Park should remain so.

Naturalist John Muir said, “When one tugs on any single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”

In other words, everything affects everything else.

When money is involved, nature almost always loses. A little beauty disappears here, a few trees there, and after a while we look around and notice that much of what used to be lovely is gone. Cement does not soothe the soul. Wilderness does that. Mountains and trees do that. Deer and rivers do that. And wild geese flying south in long vees.

Maureen Parker lives in Greensboro.