Letter: Wetlands issue at school site needs to be addressed
There are many issues to be addressed regarding the replacement/rebuilding of Page Middle School. One that has recently been identified is, to me, of great importance. This is the presence of wetlands on the T.C. Walker Road property where a replacement school is proposed.
It’s become standard procedure for people in the government, both locally and at a state level, to emphasize the importance of wetlands to environmental quality and to our quality of life. Yet whenever an implied government need, or a developer with deep pockets, shows up, the importance of wetlands disappears. The "wetlands mitigation" that the government/developers talk about usually involves digging a hole nearby, letting it fill with water to become a pond, and declaring victory. Meanwhile, the diverse wildlife of the original wetlands is lost, along with the properties that benefit us most.
Has anyone considered what part the T.C. Walker Road wetlands play in preventing flooding in the surrounding areas when major storms blow through? How about the immeasurable filtering of rain water/runoff that the entire wooded area, not just the wetlands, provides? Do you think that those of us who are on wells for our drinking water might owe the quality of that water to the natural filtering effect of this land?
If the school complex is built and the wetlands destroyed, where will the hundreds of thousands of gallons of parking lot runoff, with its attendant oils and chemicals from the cars using them, go when a storm blows through? Into the ground, and eventually into our drinking water.
Before we destroy this area with a school complex, the effect of the loss of the wetlands on the surrounding area should be carefully evaluated. This is especially true when there is a perfectly good piece of property across the street, one that has been there, in use, for years.