Response to Marilyn’s Letter to the State on the Anderson Bridge.
1. Marilyn’s report.
3. Your Editor.
5. Cher responds to Marilyn.
1. Marilyn’s report.
Yesterday, I published Marilyn’s letter to the state environmental people concerning the Anderson Bridge work.
The Anderson Bridge is the third highway bridge (plus one pedestrian bridge) over the Charles River west of the BU Bridge. Its problems are all part of a package of destructiveness and incompetence shared by the state, the City of Cambridge, and their never identified agents.
The letter may be found at: http://charlesriverwhitegeeseblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/anderson-bridge-project-comments-to.html.
Please note that Cher has responded to Marilyn. Posted at the bottom.
Sticking my nose in after reading this. Why did theyy remove all the old trees from the grassland barrier? I just don't get the things these people do? These were marvelolus old trees thata everyone looked forward to passing by. Have you seen it?
3. Your Editor.
In their mentality, the old trees have no value.
Nobody has been paid to plant them in years.
Value is what is paid to the contractor in the mind of these incompetents.
Sorry I'm not familiar with the trees Cher is talking about. Not that that would keep me from opining:
I can only say they might have been mature trees of species the DCR or any developer can pay its contractors big bucks to cut down, chip, and cart away, and then say they're replacing 2-for-1 with today's fashionable trees. The mature trees' problems are usually that they were someone else's fashion.
For example, Norway maples, Acer platanoides, was a favorite tree of Olmsted and his disciples. They're good urban trees that survive pollution and compacted soils, are hardy in cold climates, and make fine, architectural "statements." One of their survival strategies for success in such environments is to disperse lots of seeds.
If, as has been the case, MDC/DCR maintenance has not been good and kept the lawns around them mowed, these seeds become saplings, become big trees, and make more seeds. Read: "invasive." DCR solution is to cut the big ones down regardless of their demonstrable virtues over the last hundred years, public outcry, or the cost of all this.
In all my time observing the MDC/DCR the agency has mobilized support of well-meaning people who love our public parklands by
a. claiming it's chronically underfunded, hence can't be a proper steward, hence the dismal state of maintenance of its assets;
b. declaring various widespread plants are "non-native" and/or "invasive" and should be removed to make way for new plants from its contractors' stocks (e.g., see above at Norway maples);
c. hijacking the energy of the attentive public--people who care--to divert them from the agency's failures and set them to whacking and ripping out, for free, the "non-natives" and "invasives" too small for the paid contractors to bother with. An example would be the false indigo along the Charles River's edge--a "native" plant, incidentally, introduced into cultivation in 1724 for its ability to hold riverbanks against erosion. (Its very success at that job makes it undesirable!)
As for DCR's budget problems, please note no government agency has all the funds it wants. That the MDC/DCR has lost responsibility for water resources to MWRA, police functions to the State Troopers, and roads and bridges to Mass Highways/DOT is the mark of a failing bureaucracy.
In this decline, the remaining urban parks division holds ever more closely to self-perpetuation. Rather than focus on maintenance of mature landscapes and historic structures, its core function (Plans) implicitly becomes the neglect of its assets and explicitly their "restoration" according to plans that keep these people at work.
The agency's public relations arm, the Charles River Conservancy, works to mobilize support for these "restorations."
As long as you ignore the actual consequences of this dynamic in the real world--destruction of those beautiful trees, for example--it's fascinating. For those bothered by the waste of resources, the loss of beauty, and the number of passes the agency gets from top state authorities, it can look a lot like corruption.
5. Cher responds to Marilyn.
Thank so much Marilyn for your observations and expertise. You are very knowledgeable about all of these issues and I consider myself lucky to be learning from you all. I had the same general thoughts as did my Mom, the first time we saw these massive trees being cut down and in deed cut up and tossed into chippers! I saw tiny trees being replanted but don;t recall the species of either. Am I mistaken that there were oaks in that area? The area I refer to is the long strip along Memorial drive separating the roads on either side, one going towards Cambridge and one away from. (not good at directions).
I also recall when we saw the trees tagged, and we wondered why> We can't think of one good reason why these trees which beautifully lined in particular one side of Memorial drive closest to the Charles. I had once commented to a museum owner that I would like to photograph those trees on the other side if it were not for all the cars parked there. She advised that at 4 am the ara is usually vacant of cars. Anyway, these trees aer surely beloved by the people in the area. I just don’t understand why people don’t take a stand for what they love.
Apparently all you have enlightened me wit excuses by DCR et al, have been fed successfully to enough people. In general folks do not want to 'get involved" with matters of the government but I surely would think that this was opposed by many as the area is full of people of culture who imo have to respect nature and after. I realized there is a large population of students there, but would think that many of them would also opposed this as many of these students are involved with issues in the community etc. Arrgh. Its so frustrating. I am not from the area but as you probably know, I am by there and frequent there all the time so I take interest in it. It is historic, and these trees were historic., I don’t think any of us will ever live to see the day when one of the twigs they have planted, grows to be as large or magnificent or as strong and vital as the ones they cut down.
Thanks so much for your very valuable input. I'm one of those people who feel very sad when I see trees cut down, especially trees such as these.
The situation in Cambridge simply cannot be imagined by normal people, including a lot of people who live in Cambridge and who are victims of the ongoing con games.
A very bad city council stays in office by lying about itself, directly or through a very large combination of political organizations.
The lies are very sophisticated:
Do not look at my destruction of the Charles River. Do not look at my heartless animal abuse. Do not look at the ongoing destruction of Fresh Pond. Do not look at the imminent destruction of Alewife. Do not look at all the trees needlessly destroyed by Cambridge and its friends.
Look at my fancy light bulbs, and when you look at them, do not look at the fact that they amount to billions of containers of mercury being spattered around the world.