Friday, November 10, 2006
It's Not Easy Being Green
The City of Duluth (my beloved town) is right now considering selling (and continuing to sell) off parcels of tax foreited lands. These are often lands that were once considered "protected" as their classification is conservation. Due to idiotic running of certain aspects of the city (*cough*retiree health care*cough*) we are ALL now going to pay. Not only with higher taxes but also losing our precious greenspace which makes Duluth such a beautiful and unique place.
What's different about Duluth than most cities of it's size (86,000 pop)is it's geography and the fact that up to this point "sprawl" hasn't happened. Well, there is that little matter of the Miller Hill Mall region (gag) and our "suburb" (ha) Hermantown (sprawl is pretty much all it is). We have OLD old old neighborhoods and OLD old old houses - some are beautiful examples of Victorian masterpieces, some are shitholes that landlords have turned into barely habitable (and are often inhabited by college students). We are located on the tip of the largest lake in the world and the views from Skyline Parkway offer spectacular vistas of said lake, forests, hawks, and a horizon that seems unreachable (except of course...when we're locked in fog...which is kind of cool too).
Duluth offers mile after mile of incredible hiking trails - right in the city! Places that are seemingly undiscovered and put you in the middle of wilderness but really are about 15 minutes from my densely inhabited neighborhood. Streams, brooks, huge granite outcroppings, trees, trees, trees, fields, deer, grouse, rabbits, snakes (unfortunately), wildflowers, birds of all colors and so much more are merely moments away from my & every Duluthians back door.
THIS IS IMPORTANT. we MUST protect our precious greenspace! Once we turn everything into subdivisions of cookie-cutter houses and strip malls and WALMARTS for godssake WE CANNOT GO BACK!!
Our unique topography & geography bring tourist dollars to our region. They are a major factor in why so many people want to live here (and of course the weather keeps the riff-raff out which is FINE with me).
I fear that if Duluth & St. Louis County start selling off these parcels of land the only thing that will be left is construction waste, used up wetlands, scarred hillsides, stumps and swirling garbage where there used to be wildflowers.
Okay - I'm stepping off my soapbox (for now) but I will be writing the county comissioners today as I feel I can't be silent on this any longer.
To read a recent article in the Duluth News Tribune about said problem click here