Brookhaven, GA, August 11, 2015 – by Tom Reilly, National Wildlife Federation – Every city has something that sets it apart. For some cities, it might be historic buildings or traditions. For others, it might be majestic mountains or beaches. For the Atlanta metro area, the “city built in a forest,” that something has always been its trees. We live in the largest urban forest in the United States. And Brookhaven has always shared in this tradition. Our trees dominate our landscapes, and our lives.
The benefits of these trees are obvious and important. They clean our air, lower our temperatures, encourage our rainfall, store our water, control our floods. They shelter the wildlife that reminds of our place in the order of things. They steep us in the mystery of beauty. Their presence literally makes our lives gentler, both within ourselves and with the people around us.
There are forces at work here that only see our tree canopy as an obstacle to their financial gain. These forces only want to make the quickest and easiest profit possible. They ignore the fact that in time profit for profit’s sake always leads to a decline in the quality of life. They want us to be “urbanites.” We’ve been “urbanites“ for generations. What WE want to be is “urbanites” with a twist: We want development. And we want trails, creeks, parks, wildlife and woods.
First you make your decisions, then your decisions make you. Tonight you might make a decision on passing our revised Tree Protection Ordinance. The results of this decision will influence millions of dollars in property values, thousands of people’s quality of life, and set a precedent that will influence the life of this city for decades to come. Speaking as both a representative of the National Wildlife Federation and of Brookhaven Protects Trees, I’m asking you to make this decision carefully and responsibly, for ALL our sakes.
National Wildlife Federation and Brookhaven Protects Trees
The City of Brookhaven City Council will hear proposed changes to the City’s Tree Ordinance Tuesday evening. After the changes are read in to the record, there will a period of Public Comment – then the Council will likely vote.
The City Council will meet Tuesday, August 11th, Brookhaven City Hall at 4362 Peachtree Rd, at 7:00 PM.