To the Editor:
Eleven years ago, I had to climb a tree to draw attention to the Troy Board of Education’s sneaky hope to destroy some historic trees unnoticed.
“Oh, we need a parking lot!” But places where centuries-old trees stood are not part of their parking lot.
“Oh, we have design plans to plant even more trees than we’re removing!”
I figured a decade is more than fair time for them to make good on their promises to the residents of Troy (a Tree City, USA, in spite of the board’s carelessness).
Along with mighty pines and hardwoods that contributed to Troy’s skyline and well-being was the second-largest hackberry tree in Ohio. It was actually three trees growing together, a marvel in which the Hobart children had a treehouse in the 1940s. The hackberry was thriving when it was needlessly chomped into mulch in 2005 on a space that remains green grass.
The board mostly got away with this because the promise of new trees satisfied and tricked residents like a fake stick thrown for a pup. Many of the poor-stewardship board members have been replaced by people who might be wiser and should cover the barren land in trees, if only to benefit from physical and mental health that trees have been proven to deliver. The ugly lawn and lot are right outside their office door. Troy Schools would save revenue for decades to come with an investment in trees, enhancing wellness of staff and students alike.
Planting the promised trees needn’t come at a high price; non-profits exist who would donate materials and services, and the very best plan would involve hundreds of students discovering how fulfilling it is to plant something and watch it grow.
Looking over the high school property, it even appears that areas were installed where future trees would grow, yet none were ever planted! If that board was as careless with the budget as they were with the land, I reckon they’ll have to start a fund, but that’s no excuse, there are hundreds of people who would donate to see trees return to this land. If this is the case, I’ll throw the first crispy $100 into the hat. It would be $270, but I had to pay attorney fees for the trespassing charge after the fire department yanked me out of the hackberry.
There are simply no excuses for the blight to remain on the city for bad decisions made by a handful of asphalt-lovers.
The 2005 board of education deceived and robbed the people of Troy. It’s long past our time to hold them accountable to fix it.
— Michael Kowrach