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Nov 8,2004 - The Now News

Bring on some strong tree protection bylaws

In the last year, about 50 mature trees have been felled in the Como Lake area. When I think of how they shaded the earth on hot days, how raccoons, squirrels and birds found refuge and food in them and how they adorned the landscape, it is a sad loss.

There are many reasons to justify cutting down these beauties that sway and sing in the breezes. Their needles and leaves can ruin roofs, fill gutters and plug drainage systems. Their roots can penetrate water pipes, causing blockages. They can also come crashing down in storms, putting life and property at risk.

Even though trees can be troublesome, the first plans for our yard, after moving in last year, was to plant 10 trees, some bushes and more plants. When doing so, I take care to watch overhead for wires, keep deep rooters away from the house drainage system and I now give supply and drainage piping due consideration.

The City of Burnaby has a very good record of placing trees in boulevards as streets are constructed and renewed. When we heard that Gatensbury Street was going to be resurfaced, we thought the city would have put in a sidewalk on one side and trees on the boulevard, as it is a main street and a pathway to Como Lake Park. We were disappointed when none of our hopes came true. The paving of the street makes travel for cars better, so now they travel faster. I'm sure that more green along the street would have encouraged people to drive slower and encouraged more people to walk to the park. Every time our local governments miss out on these opportunities to address our ecological decline, the big picture gets uglier. Bring on some strong tree bylaws and let's really get working to keep our world livable.

Every time residents give up on the vegetation under their stewardship, nature pays the price.

Every time we degrade the environment, we degrade humanity's future as well. This just doesn't sound like a natural thing to do to me.

Steve Mancinelli

posted on 11/08/2004

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