Almanac

Viewpoint - April 2, 2014

Letter: Vegetation always wins over cement

The following letter was addressed to the Menlo Park City Council:

"Don't fight lost battles" is an important phrase and concept to remember when one is involved in political and ethical battles like trying to prevent a beautiful, wooded waterway (San Francisquito Creek) from being turned into a cement (trapezoid) walled storm drain in the name of flood control.

And it is gratifying when one "wins," as described in my self-published 1975 book, "A P/U History of Menlo Park, which to this writer's delight is still in the Menlo Park and other libraries. But if one lives long enough, often one witnesses the same battles arising to be fought by conscientious people in the next generation.

Downstream flooding has many causes, including upstream land use. East Palo Alto and the bayside parts of many communities were built before we had a thorough understanding of drainage patterns, flood plains and the properties of saturated soils. And these days we are forced to change our thinking on climate itself as we see high cement structures being drowned as water levels rise around the world. The so-called Hundred-Year Flood is now not an adequate basis for planning our surroundings.

One of the first things done in building or upgrading communities is tending to the landscaping. In many communities, wise politicians and planners are even replacing parking spaces with trees. There is a difference in what happens to a person's mind and soul or whatever you want to call it when looking at a cement wall or even a rock-lined creek bed versus a beautiful tree. When it comes to cement vs. vegetation, vegetation will ultimately win.

Martha B. Hopkins Tucson, Arizona

Comments

There are no comments yet for this post

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields