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Friday, April 27, 2012

Celebrate Arbor Day

Plant a tree, appreciate what we have
By Will Collette

Today, April 27, is National Arbor Day, a day for those of us who live in Charlestown to celebrate our beautiful town, made special not just by our beaches, salt ponds and freshwater streams, ponds and lakes, but also by our abundant woodlands.

We all have different points of view about how to best preserve the beauty and natural abundance we have here, but I think we can all agree that what we have does indeed need to be preserved – not just for its own sake, but for the benefit of all.

When I work in my home office, cranking out stuff for Progressive Charlestown, I look out at the towering oaks that fill my window view.

Because of our mild winter and early spring, the oaks are now in full bloom, with each tree filled with buds that will soon become leaves. My fruit trees are blooming and my newly planted trees are setting well.

Birds are in great abundance this spring and our trees are filled with finches, titmice, cardinals, woodpeckers, sparrows, doves, cowbirds, catbirds and crows. It's a great time of year!

Well, here I am, going all soft and gooey about trees and birds instead of writing edgy political analysis and commentary. But in Charlestown, land use is political issue #1.

There are some who believe that to be a true environmentalist, you must be dedicated, heart and soul, to conservation. I am an environmentalist, always have been, and I am dedicated to conservation, heart and soul. But there is more to being an environmentalist than just conservation. There is more to being a conservationist than only expanding open space.

I am of the breed of environmentalist who believes that people are part of the environment and there must be a place for people to live with, enjoy and make judicious use of our environment.

But today, on Arbor Day, let’s just try to see both the forest and the trees.