Save the Mark Watson Park trees

To the Editor:

I recently received the very upsetting news that the parks and recreation office is managing a county project that may result in the cutting down of many very large trees in Mark Watson Park!

I simply do not understand the recent trend in cutting down very large trees in Jackson County. The trees at the new library were removed to make room for a little more parking which altered the original design of the building (and view from Main Street). Then the trees in Centennial Park have been cut down, and now even more trees at Mark Watson Park are at imminent risk! Other than the tree-cutting contractors, who is benefitting from this decimation? Certainly not our community.

With regards to the trees beside the tennis courts in Mark Watson Park, I am told that they are “rotten.” To my eye, these trees still have greenery and life. Do they really pose a danger to anyone? If this is the concern, why not just trim any problematic limbs without cutting the trees! They shade the tennis courts and add beauty to the park!

And with regards to the health old large trees that align the road, these are certainly not dead. They are bustling with life!

I have learned that an engineer is designing a new drainage system in the park that may result in them being cut down very soon!

I feel that this engineer needs to be given the task to solve the drainage problem with the stipulation of saving these historical trees!

I was under the impression that the larger concept for that area was to extend the “greenway” from Dillsboro to downtown Sylva, so cutting these beautiful massive trees totally contradicts that concept!

The beauty and unique character of the area is dwindling rapidly! Please do not allow this to happen in Mark Watson Park.

To those other citizens out there who I know are concerned, please contact your county commissioners, the Parks and Recreation Department, maintenance and grounds department, and the state DOT and let them know your views. Our children and grandchildren have the right to enjoy these wonderful large trees as did our forebears!

Keith DeLancey


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