from a private citizen
I used to enjoy a bicycle ride to a nearby field on warm summer
nights just a few years ago and there were what looked to be millions
of fireflies covering acres of wildflowers. Their magical, soft
yellow twinkling lit up the whole field. It was captivating to sit
and watch the fireflies for quite a long time--their twinkling blending
in with the stars on a dark night. That area is now a Target mall.
No one will ever see what I saw so close to home, as neither will
Just a few years ago sitting on our porch at night I could hear
owls and katydids on those same summer nights. Now I hear mainly
traffic because Ann Arbor is now surrounded by malls, condos, and
A recent car company ad was very happy to report that there are
3 million miles of road in the US to enjoy it’s car. Assuming
that’s only considering larger roads of average width of 50
feet that comes to 30,000 square miles or half the state of Michigan.
If you add smaller roads, sidewalks, parking lots, malls, cities,
patios, driveways, ad infinitum, how many states’ worth of
land are covered in cement?
How many species of plants and animals have been lost to habitat
destruction? Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson, estimated conservatively
that presently at least 27,000 species are becoming extinct each
year and that in one human lifetime, half the world's species will
disappear if the rate continues.
There are scores of dead and dying animals on local roads every
day. How many more roads are we going to build? We should care about
preserving life and natural beauty for our ultimate dependence on
nature, for our physical and emotional health and because, hopefully,
most of us immensely enjoy what nature offers. Will we kill most
everything off only to have a few examples in botanical gardens
and cages in zoos of what used to be? The problem isn’t just
somewhere else-—it’s also here.
Now we're taking a step to help preserve some of what's left in
the county by voting on a proposal in November. The cost is small
compared to the gain for the county. I hope there are enough who