Your Views: Preserving what matters

Your Views: Preserving what matters
A 150-year-old oak tree on the property of T.C. Williams High School. (Photo/Missy Schrott)

To the editor:

It is often difficult to strike a balance between progress and preservation. Alexandria is a city that has vast experience with this, sometimes positive, sometimes negative. However, we are in danger of upsetting the balance in an irreparable way.

Whether it is infrastructure that has endured years of neglect only to be over-taxed by increased development, or a tree that has stood for many generations cleaning the air and absorbing groundwater being cut down, we are at a crossroads. Flooding, increased levels of pollution and more demand for energy and natural resources can all be tied to increased density.

As Alexandria residents and owners of the local business Mason & Greens, we know that increasing the tax base at the expense of mature trees, our natural spaces and the environment as a whole upsets the balance and leads us down the road to something we can’t get back.

This road expands a diminished standard of living for everyone. Our city leadership needs to focus on the most important challenges we face. All are rooted in the environment, and solving them will not be easy. But it can be done.

The road back to balance is lined with trees, smells of sweet jasmine and magnolia virginiana in the spring – as well as stately oaks that leave our children in awe with beautiful fall color.

-Anna and Justin Marino, Alexandria