Your Views: Allison, our environmental champion

Your Views: Allison, our environmental champion
Photo Credit: Missy Schrott

To the editor:

Alexandria needs a mayor who will advocate for environmental protections and save our lush forests and tree canopy. Allison Silberberg was that mayor: She was an incredible champion for preserving and adding to Alexandria’s tree canopy. Alexandria seriously needs her as our next mayor.

Four years ago, we started the North Ridge Tree Campaign, a completely volunteer effort to help restore our neighborhood’s declining tree canopy, one of the city’s last truly urban forests. To date, participants in our neighborhood tree canopy campaign have added more than 200 native canopy trees to their yards.

We have promoted the planting and care of hundreds more as neighbors race against what we all see and experience: the urbanization of our neighborhoods and the unnecessary destruction of our canopy trees and with it more polluted air, rising temperatures and less attractive neighborhoods.

Our current city government, led by Mayor Justin Wilson, has approved zoning changes and other initiatives that allow for overbuilding and densification in both commercial and noncommercial areas. They favor developer interests over neighborhoods. They are promoting adult housing on our limited school grounds and additional housing on single-family lots.

The city is currently considering a plan for Taylor Run at Chinquapin that will destroy 270 trees. Wilson and city government have justified the project with pollution data from streams with high pollution levels from farmland runoff in Pennsylvania. Taylor Run has been shown not to have significant pollutants by the city’s own natural resources staff and testing done by local citizens.

Silberberg is in favor of saving our lush forests.

The taxpaying citizens of Alexandria need Allison Silberberg as mayor. She stands for sensible development. She is the true environmentalist in Alexandria’s race for mayor and she was endorsed by the Environmental Council of Alexandria. She listens to what citizens want, votes according to her conscience and stands for transparency and integrity.

When Silberberg was mayor, she quintupled the number of trees planted across the city from 200 to 1,000 trees per year. She launched “Greening up Alexandria” and set a goal to increase our city’s tree canopy from 34% to 40% in 10 years. She organized strategy meetings with local tree advocates, nonprofits, civic associations and city staff to jump start the planting of native trees across the city.

Let’s keep what little green is left in Alexandria and try and improve upon it. Vote on June 8 for Allison for mayor and save our forest, trees and environment.

-Lynn Gas, Meghan Rainey, Jane Seward, Alexandria