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Help save the downtown trees

Help save the downtown trees

Connersville’s downtown on Central Avenue looks nicer right now than it has in years, thanks to the trees lining both sides of the street, and the beautiful lights in them. Obviously, we would all like to see successful businesses occupying all the empty storefronts along the same street, but, as we, and countless other midwestern communities are learning the hard way, the progress of rebuilding a lost economy can, and often is, a long and painful road. But to get there positive efforts must continue, along with the belief we WILL get there as a community with continued efforts in that direction.

Now in what we believe to be a giant step backwards, we read the trees on Central Avenue are to be cut down. We believe this drastic step to be both an unnecessary and a terribly short-sighted approach a problem that has alternative solutions that would retain the beauty of the trees while addressing the issue at hand.

For instance, a 270-degree semi-circle of decorative black iron or iron-look metal benches could be permanently bolted to walkway, surrounding all but the curb side of trees. This would provide downtown festival seating, would protect the trees and pedestrians, the offending grates could be removed, beautiful flowers could be planted at tree base in the spring. Or, as an alternative, decorative brick and stone-caped partial circular raised seating could be constructed around each tree, to look like ones around John Conner’s statue.

Either of these solutions would address the issue of root-raised grates becoming a hazard, while retaining the beautiful look, even enhancing it, in our downtown.

Surely one of these solutions, or some other well-thought-out plan can be developed to save our beautiful downtown trees. Admittedly these are not the quickest, easiest, least costly solutions; the best ones rarely are.

To this end, we are prepared to donate $500 toward the purchase of decorative metal benches to be placed around all the downtown Central Avenue trees now threatened, or to any other solution that saves the trees from being cut down. Perhaps there are others out there who would join in such a “save the trees” effort. Replacement trees will take decades to grow to the size of the existing trees and the downtown will suffer visually in the interim.

We end with a famous poem and ask those involved with the trees decision to reconsider.

Trees

By Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see

a poem as lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.

 – Mike and Jenny Sparks, Connersville