To the editor:
Natural channel design projects for forested, upper headwater streams are very much akin to highly destructive modern construction practices, infill development and gentrification of older, historic communities in that all of a site’s existing natural, historical, and “landscape memory” features such as topography, soils, microorganisms and native seedbanks are stripped away and forever lost.
Natural channel design construction projects in particular require a wider clearing of forest and stream banks than alternative methods.
In addition to at least 270 native trees that will be clear cut along Taylor Run for the unnecessary project, including a number of old-age giants, a rare, biodiverse spring-fed seepage swamp is threatened, and countless aquatic and forest wildlife will be buried under tons of fill material dumped into the channel to raise the stream.
Salamanders, juvenile box turtles, crayfish and other aquatic macroinvertebrates and fishes like the Blacknose Dace that are particularly healthy and abundant in the Taylor Run project footprint, will all perish from the site. The Blacknose Dace, like most others, will not return because they no longer occur upstream or downstream in Taylor Run owing to the poor condition of the stream in those places.
Let’s start the New Year off in the right direction with a life-affirming gift to the Taylor Run stream valley by rethinking the stream construction project and substantially downscaling it so that the myriad of life existing there is not needlessly destroyed.
The promise for Alexandria’s parks is that they’ll be protected, preserved and properly stewarded. They are not here as free land to be developed for stormwater management projects.
-Rod Simmons, Alexandria