By / Letters to the Editor / Wednesday, 16 March 2016 00:00

Dear Editor,
Recently I drove down River Road and Independence Blvd among other roads in Wilmington, and was shocked to see many huge expanses of land clear-cut of any and all trees by developers to make way for more homes, apartments, and commercial building. It was bad enough that Newland Communities was allowed to clear large areas of trees to relocate River Road, which used to be a beautiful tree-lined scenic drive for residents, just so they could build closer to the Cape Fear River, but now they have also clear-cut another huge area leaving no mature trees.  Other developers are doing the same.  They would say it’s progress; I say it’s greed.  They clear-cut because it’s cheaper to build, then replant with non-native, small trees like Bradford pears and palms then call it landscaping.  
Mature trees provide not only beauty and shade, but they improve the environment as well.  It’s estimated that mature trees around a house can cut air-conditioning energy costs by 10-50 percent, as well as boost a property’s value 10-20 percent.  Trees also help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, emit oxygen and the roots drink water to help prevent flooding.  Trees also provide a wind buffer during storms as well as provide a habitat for birds and wildlife.  So, what’s not to love about a tree?
The City of Wilmington and New Hanover County need to have ordinances to insure that a percentage of our native mature forests are saved from destruction during development.  Bald Head Island has successfully kept developers from destroying their natural beauty.  Wilmington used to pride itself on our trees, but at the rate we’re clearing now, we will become an “asphalt jungle”.  It’s sad that our future landscape is being determined by developers, not residents.  Please contact your City and County officials to stop this destruction.
Judy F. Larrick,
Kure Beach, NC


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