I apologize for slamming on my brakes and screeching to a halt the other day. If you were driving behind me, you probably had to swerve drastically to avoid my car, stopped right there in the middle of Swift Street. I couldn’t help it; I just couldn’t believe my eyes. They cut down our trees.
I usually try to avoid using “us” and “them” and their related pronouns, but I am making an exception in this case. “Us” is the people of North Kansas City and “Them” is Hunt Midwest Real Estate Development. Someone there must know more about developing real estate than I do, and I will say that from their perspective the clear-cutting done recently in this beautiful town must make sense. But it doesn’t make a bit of sense to me.
This street pictured here used to be a tree lined parkway. The shot on the right is looking south down Swift Street. You can see the trees that are left just south of the development area and a few on the west side of the street. But on the east (the left side of the picture) Hunt Midwest has cleared the ground to make way for their houses. Big, beautiful, old trees that had been living here for decades, nothing more than nuisances in the way of human progress, cut down, ground up, and disposed of.
I am not a “tree hugger,” but I mourn the loss of those big beautiful trees. Having more and more people moving into town is good, but the cost of that population growth is the death of a row of shade, habitat, oxygen, and aesthetic beauty that will take decades upon decades to experience again. Does this creation in which we reside have value only insofar as it is available for human consumption? Is there a place for righteous anger in response to the loss of our big, beautiful, old trees?