Ann Arbor Parks and Greenbelt Proposal

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Letter 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 I again.

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 new subdivisions.

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 care.

Vote YES on Proposal B Nov 4

Paid for by Friends of Ann Arbor Open Space, 1308 E.Stadium Blvd., Ann Arbor, MI 48104

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