Over 600 Howard County residents have signed a petition to limit the number of trees being cut down in Symphony Woods. We accept the basic plan for the park development, however, we object to removing 64 trees for the straight pathways of the CA plan.
We are dedicated to preserving this last stand of natural land in the midst of the bustle of heavily commercialized Town Center as a reminder for future generations of James Rouse's dream/commitment to honor nature.
Symphony Woods is the only open space that all Columbia citizens have shared. It symbolizes the Rouse ideals of creating a healthy, environmentally respectful city where people of all races and creeds live in harmony and where the individual can flourish.
In an effort to encourage the Columbia Association and Howard County government to preserve as many trees as possible in Symphony Woods, the children of Columbia are naming the trees for Columbia's heroes. Saving 50 trees may not seem so important, but the Hughes Corp., who own half of Symphony Woods, will remove almost all of the trees when they build office buildings, apartment houses, and a hotel, with streets and parking lots on their half of the SW property.
Symphony Woods is a living ecosystem. If you remove one tree, the roots which are interwoven in the earth will affect the roots of all trees within three to five feet away. The other trees then will begin to die.
We citizens, like the roots of these trees, are now interwoven into a strong city that exemplifies to the world how society can improve. Rouse created an ideal city where everyone has a healthy environment, excellent education and where people respect each other.
Symphony Woods must be preserved as a reminder to future generations that we share this planet and that it is up to us to reach for the highest standards for all people. We ask you to examine our Alternative Plan for the SW Park.
The CA plan has formal, straight pathways through the central fountain area. Our Alternative Plan has curving pathways that honor both the contour of the land and the mature trees that have grown there for 100 years.
We believe that the citizens should decide what happens to our city. We ask you to listen to the children. They have named trees for Ken Ulman, Ellen Kennedy, Toby Orenstein and The Bassler Family, who owned a dairy farm on this downtown property. The children plan to start by naming 64 trees in Symphony Woods to honor those people, living or deceased who made Columbia such a fabulous place to live — "the Founders, the Workers, the Poets and the Keepers of the Columbia Dream!"
We ask the Planning Board to reject the CA Plan as it stands! We want a park that is dedicated to preserving nature while honoring the past and inspiring an even more harmonious future.
Columbia is not just another sprawling suburbia where everything is bulldozed for the next big-box center. Yes, we love the mall and all our great restaurants and playing fields. But we need to stay focused on the core values of our lives. We need to preserve this small parcel of CA-owned Symphony Woods to honor what really is important to sustain ourselves and inspire future generations.
Joyce K. Potemkin
Preserve the People's Trees