While what you site is true about greenspace and openspace in many areas
expanding, I can also site examples where it continues to disappear. Let's
take farmland, for example. I know a farm isn't nature, but it's either a
farm or a subdivision.. take your choice. My choice would be the farm,
because it's easier to educate one farmer about farming in an
environmentally friendly fashion, than it would be to try to attempt to
educate a whole new neighborhood why they shouldn't use lawn chemicals!
According to the Ohio Department of Agriculture, we lose 300 acres of
farmland per day on average, and much of it goes into commercial or
Let's not kid ourselves, with each new parking lot built in once rural areas
we lose more greenspace/open space.. etc.. or whatever we want to call it.
The reality is, is their is no balance between how much we are building and
what we are preserving... or setting aside.
The answer is to get more involved at the local level.. Most land use
issues are made locally. By advocating smart growth plans for cities, we
can help to restore the urban areas from the inner core, attract people to
move in the cities by making them more livable, and all the while, this will
preserve open space in the rural fringe. I know this is idealistic, but
it's just a rule of thumb and a "blueprint" for thought. It's a mere creed
that would be nice to instill in the thinking processes of planners.
Currently, we are letting developers control the urban planning processes.
This is like letting loggers dictate forest management! Such smart planning
philosophies, when exercised by say, a city council, would benefit
conservation of green and open spaces, be it farm, forest, etc.
I won't comment for every place, but here in the Mahoning Valley, poorly
planned sprawl has consumed most of what was countryside. Making matters
worse, there have been no such market studies submitted to local governments
by those "entities" creating the sprawl, as to proving that there is a
need for it. They just holler "Jobs and taxes" and everyone jumps on the
bandwagon without question, so to speak. Overall, Ohio has LOST population,
yet consumption of land in the outer fringes of cities has gone up
drastically, due to exodus from the cities. To see the actual numbers as
to these statements, consult with David Beach, of Eco-City Cleveland
focusing on urban core renewal is wise. We can even help by being wise
consumers for example, it doesn't help inner city or older suburban
businesses each time someone supports the rural fringe, (i.e.: Lowes,
Wal-Mart, Target, etc.) I don't mean to sound negative, or "anti" or off
on too many offtopics, but this has got me thinking! Smart planning is all
we really can do at this time.
Look around you....the way we are allowing our business portions of
communities to be shaped, is around mega-store complexes. It seems as
though in the near future, we will all be wearing the "exact same shirt and
shoes", when the big guy comes in and swallows up your community.... You
will have no choice but to shop there! Inevitably, this creates a fine
environment for monopolies! All I am advocating is balance, both in what we
develop on the land and what we set aside, and right now, I don't see any
evidence of balance here.
> "urban sprawl swallowing up so much of our natural and rural landscape
> Hey Rob, don't sound so glum.
> Fact is, Ohio has actually been increasing it's green space rapidly in
> the last 40-50 years.
> Much of the cleared farmland (clearing out all those trees was a lot of
> work 150 yrs ago)
> is returning to the forested land it once was. As an example, I could
> show you photos
> of the Ohio Canal/Cuyahoga River corridor from the 1850's- there wasn't
> a tree to be
> found growing within miles of the canal from Cleveland to Akron. Now the
> Oak-Maple forests
> are re-covering most of the valley again! I have read reports of the
> very first deer sighted in Northern
> Ohio in 1930 in the Chagrin River valley-none had inhabited the northern
> part of the state for years.
> Now, I have more deer in the backyard than squirrels (seriously!).
> Don't get me wrong- I hate seeing another big chain drugstore being
> built as much as anyone.
> The first surveying parties in Ohio said that a squirrel could travel
> from Cleveland to Cincinnati
> by tree and never touch the ground!! Unfortunately, that will never
> happen again anytime soon.
> The swamplands and wetlands that were drained in N.W. Ohio will never
> return (ever notice
> all the straight creeks on the Delorme Atlas labeled "ditches" below
> Toledo?). Now, if we could
> get an Ohio EPA with something in their pants besides the politicians
> hands, we'd be OK ("sure
> you can bury 88 acres of class III wetlands to build an airport runway
> Mr. Mayor"-Abrams Creek).
> I guess the glass is half full/ half empty.
> Guarding my one acre of old growth forest in Bedford,
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