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Subject:  Re: Wildflowers Destroyed Date:  5/6/2005  10:32 AM
Author:  riverlad Number:  17596 of 31842

OK, I'll confess -- I'm sort of a tree-hugger, or more accurately a river-hugger. I'm a card-carrying member of the Nature Conservancy, The Trustees of Reservations and a Trustee of the Eel River Watershed Association here in Plymouth, Mass., the fastest-growing town in the state. Our home sits on an acre of riverfront land, adjacent to a large (55 acre) tract recently purchased by the Watershed Assn. and near the Myles Standish State Forest.

No house has occupied this land since the Pilgrims and Wompanoags wandered it and fished the river. Since the house was built nearly twenty years ago, I've gradually cleared much of the land, including the felling of several oak and wild cherry trees. Otherwise, I've tried to maintain the plants that were here as much as possible, adding some of my own that would blend harmoniously with the natives.

In other words, I attempted to "blend in" with the environment and do nothing that would create a negative impact on it. Communities, in regulating their growth by wise zoning can do the same thing by striking a reasonable balance between orderly, considered growth and the conservation of our wildlands and wetlands.

As conservationists, we recognize that population growth is enevitable. Rather than throw ourselves in front of the bulldozers and march around with signs, we've taken the route of bringing the town and state to court over their plans for a new sewage treatment plant whose effluent might endanger the river and the aquifer that lies below. Law suits cost a lot more than placards, but they're also more effective.

We're also conducting meetings to educate the public about their responsibilities toward the environment and how they can help by conserving water and respecting natural habitat.

So, look for and support those organizations in your area that share your concerns. Getting upset about the guy next door or a local developer's a start, but everyone can make a difference by joining others who share their goals for a better community, one that includes an informed concern for the land.
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