Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011
by Jake Wentz
Overlooking Highway 707, next to St. James Middle School, and in the neighborhood of our High School there lays a sect of land. A lot, now populated by downed trees.

This nearly 5 acre plot of land stretches from across both sides of the Highway and to the lip of the St. James Middle parking lot. This area has been cleared, the landscaping cut down, but community members and students alike are asking why.
The section of land closest to the school, on the right-hand side of the road is about a little more than an acre. The remaining cleared acreage is on the left. Construction/renovation/lot-clearing began a few months ago at the end of last year. At this point a private owner has the deed for the zone, and is looking to sell it to an owner. The region was also reported to have been cut because of people running into trouble when trying to find the Middle School. Until now it was hidden amongst the trees and shrubbery.

This has now sparked some controversy in groups of students and residents of the surrounding property. With the truth as to the tear-down is hard to find people are antsy for the answers. Some questions arose about the trees around St. James High School, and if they were in danger of being cleared. However students may rest assured that High Schools grounds won’t change, they are Federal protected marsh lands.

An impact on that slice of terrestrial could be greater than people know at this time. The balance of any ecosystem, no matter how small, changes a land-scape. It could have a harmful environmental result. Leading to a short rise in road-kill due to animals leaving there homes, and a percentage of oxygen having to be made elsewhere.

Not to mention the fact that the land looks dismal. After going on site, to do research and gather information, it is easy to see how destroyed the plant life is at the moment. It looks fairly bad from the perspective of a nature lover.

However, for the economy, the new usable land may end up giving a business its’ place to start. That is a positive thing for a community, yet there lies the conflict.

This situation has links to other parts of the world in everyday life. Just like our lot by 707 many places in other countries are cut down just to put on the market, or for aesthetic purposes.

What happens next is up to the people of the schools and residents nearby. We will not know until time progresses what the effects of the trees being down, that lot clear of woods, and it going up for sell will have. Only time will tell, and hopefully it paints a positive picture.


  1. Clear cutting all along 707 is changing the face of our community. It is devastating. Why can't selective cutting be done and leave the ecosystem in place as much as possible. Thank you for recognizing the impact on plants and animals. I have always appreciated the Mt. Pleasant area: trees left in place and the building incorporated into the landscape. I hope the wetlands around SJHS will be left untouched. Stay on top of this, Jake!

  2. Its really depressing how they are destroying all these trees. It takes so long for them to come back :(

  3. Great article Jake! Keep us all posted on this. If the city is meeting to discus cutting down more could you let students know so we can go and speek up? They cut down so much! And just left it there! But if you look close you can see green stems and leaves sprouting up from the dead trees. That sight is reassuring and empowering.