Thursday, September 19, 2013

Goodbye Woods

Two photos today of a new clearing just down the road. In the past year, along the 1 1/2 mile stretch of road we live on, at least 3 older homes have sold off parcels of land from their large lots to accommodate an additional home. These new homes dwarf the ones next door. The 2 recently built were 5000 and 7000 square feet.

The road we live on began as a Native American path between Boston and Connecticut. Henry Knox dragged his cannons to Dorchester Heights down this road during the American Revolution. Compared to a home down the street which was a tavern during that time, my home built in the 1890s is relatively new. The woods cut down in the photos above were not virgin forest. All this land was farmland for centuries.

But we moved to this town 4 years ago for its rural character, its swaths of woods, paths and conservation land. So much of that is changing so fast. Since we have moved here, a large new CVS has come, and there are plans for another about 1/2 a mile from an existing Walgreens. A "Town Center" has been built with a Stop&Shop Supermarket, chain restaurants, yet another bank, a pet store, and huge 24-hour lighted parking lots. Small homes have been bulldozed to make room for McMansions, and condo building have gone up in many locations. Traffic is increasing and water resources are stretched.

Supposedly, these plans are meant to spread and lower our tax burden. Who are we (current citizens, even those who've only lived here 4 years) to deny the right of others to enjoy the good schools and beautiful nature of our town? But how do we preserve what we came here for? Why do I feel so sad everytime another lot is cleared?

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