I’m down in the New York/New Jersey area.
While driving through New Jersey I got thinking. In spite of the first impression most visitors have of New Jersey coming over on the turnpike; it truly is the Garden State.
But unfortunately, it is quickly losing its open spaces and its historic buildings. And the word ‘sprawl’ is an understatement when it comes to suburbia.
I spotted historic buildings forgotten and abandoned.
I saw open spaces in which the local communities are literally posting ‘keep out’ signs, terrified that some developer will find a way to build upon it. I saw farms, purchased by the State of New Jersey with fences around them because the very presence of congestion threatens the crops and tramples the fields. Special roads and elaborate flood gates are being built because there is so much impervious surface that heavy storms flood the communities and cost millions of dollars in damages.
The towns are all plasticized – old businesses and strip malls empty and boarded up with brand new retail stores and strip malls behind them. The towns are either a modern generic look, or are just plain bland and ugly.
I can see all this coming to our area in the near future.
It won’t if we snap out of our ‘take-it-for-granted’ attitude and truly appreciate what a fragile treasure we have in the Greater Newburyport Area.
I know that I needed this shot in the arm – even I.
Now I am really charged and re-invigorated for aggressively protecting open spaces, our watershed and our historic architecture and history.
I’ve seen with my own eyes what will happen if we lose.