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‘Here’s to the trees’ of Seneca Crossing

By Staff | Oct 25, 2019

Passing by the opening to the future Seneca Crossing near the Sheetz in Shepherdstown, I watched as hundreds of trees were being felled. The whole scene reminded me of images coming out of the Amazon rainforest, and my heart grew heavy.

Whether the saws and axes and bulldozers were making room for cattle grazing, residential developments or mega gas stations, the results were all the same: loss. Loss of habitat, loss of passive cooling, loss of soil stabilization, loss of carbon sequestration, loss of lungs for the planet and loss of ecosystem relationships, which most of us haven’t even yet begun to try to understand.

No one needs to remind me that gain for some has always meant loss for others, but when so much that serves the common good continues to be wiped out in the world — political civility, ecological health and environmental stability — what if the only shot we’ve got at finding collective hope and healing is to first collectively grieve and mourn? What if our heads won’t be sufficiently cleared enough to make wiser choices going forward until we do so? I personally don’t want to look back in 20 years and say, “If only we’d tried.”

Since we’ve got plenty to begin with in our own backyard, I’ll start by saying, here’s to the trees sacrificed for Seneca Crossing. May the economic development taking their place at least have designers with the not-so-common sense to plant more of them and orient structures to work in partnership with the sun.

Michelle Wheeler, of Shepherdstown