Thursday, March 3, 2011


When my father saw previously untouched, wild land being developed he always said the same thing in a sad voice, "Well.....that's progress."  As the years went on he started adding in "How many damned Walgreens does this city need?" (add in any other drug store chain, gas station, fast food place and you have the whole idea)

Near the home I grew up in was a field we called The Polo Field, and with the field were woods. I spent countless hours there as a child bird watching, exploring, learning.  One day I went there with my guidebook of North American Wildlife and saw tire tracks, deep, rutted tire tracks that could only come from a big machine. I ran home in tears to tell my father, and he told me that they were turning that area into a housing development, and added a said "Well....that's progress".  This was devastating to me.  I had secret places there where I went to think, I knew the trees and where certain birds nested...and to hear that it would be destroyed was horrible.  Daily I would go and watch the field be transformed into dirt with big dirt piles that I would climb and sit on and survey the destruction of one of my most favorite places.

Today the developers started construction on the 70 acres of fields and woods that surround my house. Ive watched the bulldozers go off into the woods with men and chainsaws, and return dragging felled trees stripped of their limbs and turned into logs. I've had to stare at a bulldozer that is parked next to my fenceline, that narrowly missed taking out one of my lilacs.  My heart is broken and I have been in tears all morning. 

I wonder about their time frame with this developing, and how it coincides with the coyotes denning.  I wonder where the coyotes will go since they return to their dens to birth and raise pups year after year. Hawks nest in the woods, and owls...will their trees be felled while they are raising their chicks?


As I understand the plan, there will be a road build that goes through the fields and woods to connect to a
main road north of me. Way far back in the field a light industrial property will be built, and in the field to my north between my neighbor and us, there will be a pond, a playground and a hill that will be good for sledding. 

Eventually I am sure I will somehow come to terms with this, but for right now I feel the same way I did as a little girl when the Polo Field was destroyed ......I don't see any progress at all.


  1. I can empathize with you. This fall our new neighbor logged the fifteen-foot-wide windbreak that followed our lane for a quarter-mile up to the house. From October to New Year's it was a circus of bulldozers, excavators, dump trucks, chippers, mud, logs, chaos. Then, quiet. Now the field is flat, smooth, a whole swath of life vanished, and it's easy to believe that it was never there, after all. It's a jolt to have that much life vanish so quickly. And it's a lot of weight on our memories, I think, to remember a forest...

  2. You're not a suburban girl. Maybe it's time to move and find another cute farmhouse in the area with it's own "Polo Field." Betsy and I loved the Polo Field too. Whenever I drive by there, I always think of running around all day long with our friends and mom had no idea where we were! :-)


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