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


African Kelli said...

Oh Carrie! That would make me so sad. We just passed a huge protection bill of our state lands in AZ with this election. I want my children to see open desert one day. I'm sure you feel the same about your green areas. I hope you can help lead a fight to protect these lands!

Apron Thrift Girl said...

This is happening where we live too. We live on an island that used to have a very rural feeling to it. Now as I write this, three huge condos have been built near the downtown and they are massive. Not anything near the size of our tiny downtown. Developers are somehow taking down forest, destroying wetlands to build houses. It is so depressing. Like you said, we have to protect these green areas.

Heather said...

I think it's happening everywhere, and green spaces are so important that it's a shame public leaders aren't standing up for them. Beautiful picture!