Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Monday, March 29, 2010

In Case You Were Wondering Where The Trees Went

Imagine our surprise when Mary and I rode down Route 20 toward Brimfield the other day, and saw there was now a view of Long Pond on the right side of the road. The trees alongside Route 20, and the access road to the parking lot and boat ramp were all gone.


I have written about taking down the trees along side of the road here, and on Cedar Lake at the intersection of Route 131 and 20 to expose the wonderful views long hidden by pines. Now it looks like someone was listening.

The more I thought about it, the more I knew that whatever the reason for taking down the trees it was not because I thought it was a great idea. So, I wrote to the one man I knew who would have the answer, Tom Chamberland. Tom is the perfect person to ask a tree question of since he has been the towns Tree Warden for some time, and he is also a Park Ranger with the Army Corps of Engineers. It is on their land that the trees were taken down.

Tom wrote back, but the answer he gave was not what I was expecting. He did agree that a side benefit of the tree removal was a view of the lake, but that was not the reason the trees were taken down. They were removed to give better visibility of the access road, and boat ramp from Route 20. Not the view I would have chosen to highlight, but this time it was for security reasons, not for scenic reasons.

The visibility is now unobstructed down to the water, and this increases the security of the area. Before, the trees completely blocked the view, and that led to activities frowned on by the Corp of Engineers.

Well, whatever the reason, it is great. A hidden treasure is now exposed for the motorist to view. We seem to hide our treasures with trees, and not respect the view. I know that trees are important for a variety of reasons, one being securing an embankment, and preventing erosion along road, and waterways, but the great views are important as well. We should not hide them.

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