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Dear Decaturish, Project is ‘environmental abortion’

D'ish Decatur

Dear Decaturish, Project is ‘environmental abortion’

Photo obtained via Save This Tree Decatur Facebook page.

Photo obtained via Save This Tree Decatur Facebook page.

Decaturish.com accepts letters to the editor for publication. This letter was addressed to Chris Rudd, president of Thrive Homes, the developer behind a townhomes project at 109 Hibernia Avenue in Decatur, Ga. Jennifer Lloyd, with Save This Tree Decatur, has protested the removal of trees on the property, including a 100-year-old oak. She wrote this letter to Rudd in response to the removal of trees and submitted it for publication. In the interest of fairness, we have invited Mr. Rudd to respond to this letter. Submit letters to the editor to [email protected]

Mr. Rudd,

I so very much appreciate (not) your getting back to me on the above issue. As you are well aware, I did everything I could, shy of trespassing, to stop this massacre from happening…and indeed it was, as birds were killed, injured, dropping to the ground, and nests were chopped down without your guys even looking first or seeing it happen (and I witnessed it all and have it on videotape). In addition, owl holes in limbs dropped to the ground, and later into the night, two screech owls were giving distress calls from the border trees, not knowing where to go, as of course, their young were in the historical oak.

I also saw a mother robin and one of her surviving fledglings flee to, ironically enough, my yard, having no refuge. Thankfully, one of your very nice and intelligent tree guys (whom I spoke to at length yesterday) knows exactly about what is harmed in these procedures. During my absence later in the day, apparently a neighbor took one of the baby birds that had been thrown from her nest only to fall to the ground, causing the death of the rest. Not just robins and wrens, but as I made you and Thrive aware of in the proposal, squirrels, owls, and cavity birds, etc. such as blue birds, nuthatches and woodpeckers.

Along with this Soylent Green-type environmental abortion, we had to watch the huge evergreen tree come crashing down, which, as I also mentioned to you in my proposal, was full of nuthatches and woodpeckers.

Most Rosewalk neighbors are, quite frankly, infuriated, others wish to turn a blind eye to the destruction. I can’t say I blame them. Many of us who were prepared to save the wildlife you have killed have been willing to stand “on call,” if you will, while anticipating your response as to when we could come in. I do not understand, why in the world, you didn’t let us. The majority of us are shocked by the crew that came in unexpectedly yesterday and started to cut down what turns out to be eight trees (if my math is correct), some of which were, no doubt, on my neighbor’s property (if you haven’t heard from her already, you will). They were beautiful, red bud trees that we all looked forward to seeing every spring—not large and obtrusive whatsoever.

Neighbors are now discussing distributing birdseed and putting up houses for all the displaced birds. As we speak, tree number seven is coming down in front of my next door neighbor’s house and nobody had any idea these border trees were coming down. I feel terrible for them, as the land around them is now being disrupted on both sides without any person coming to warn them of the disturbance to come. That wouldn’t have been so difficult to do, for your crew or the City of Decatur, given this came out of nowhere. I now believe this was kept under wraps for a reason.

I was told no border trees were coming down, and I attended the most recent City of Decatur tree ordinance meeting to confirm such with folks. … It’s a sad mess. Those who live right against your property are, literally, now being blinded by the lack of tree canopy and I can almost guarantee are wondering just what is next, in terms of how close your buildings will collide with theirs.

I almost never write in anger, but this time…I had no choice. We were all fooled. And, as you know, I spent countless hours writing a proposal to you and the City of Decatur. I was told by them you wished to deal with me directly (I realize why that was done). I touched base with you twice via e-mail and called only to get no response ever.

And now, we are left with owls, birds, squirrels, raccoons, etc. without homes, some of which were, most certainly, killed, others requiring rescue on the fly…and still others out there trying to find a place to go for now.

I, personally, had to deal with a baby opossum on my back porch last night, and the week before, carpenter ants the size of roaches that I haven’t seen in my 10 years of living here. Another neighbor is having extreme issues with raccoons, and there is probably much yet to been seen. And so it goes, yet another ecosystem destroyed that will, in turn, destroy the balance of more to come in this area.

People are planning to move, I being one of them. I suppose that will provide you with more potential property to usurp.

Jennifer A. Lloyd