“Love thy neighbor as thyself” seems to be a very passé attitude these days.
No where is this seen as in the attitude of some of the Newburyport citizens that are in the area of Storey Avenue. They don’t necessarily understand the bigger consequence of their actions – and that is why it has been tough lately to help people understand the issues that face their neighbors, especially those downstream.
I’m excited the city is now going to focus on the traffic issue and the signage issue and the congestion issue. That is good!
But there is a bigger picture – if nothing is done to stop the incessant laying down of impervious surfaces, those in the Quail Run neighborhood and our businesses in the now named Newburyport Business Park are going to suffer terribly if open wetlands disappear. If you ever walk down the Little River Nature Trail, you will see a tiny stream – it is hard to imagine but that water source is quite capable of producing this:
I was very pleased to see that one of the Tropic Star development team had caught the ‘vision’ of why it is so important to keep this area open. He, on his own initiative, printed out this map as tall as a man and proudly showed the Planning & Development Committee, that if the Storey Avenue land was added to the other protected properties, it would add up to 302 acres. It is that same acreage that impacts our business park, the Great Marsh, New England fishing fleet, our farms, the private homes downstream and our water supply. It is also doing the yeoman’s job of keeping our fair city buffered from the Route 95 traffic noise. (Now if we could deal with the train!) Add our agricultural lands protected and wildlife preserved and you can see this whole area contributes hugely to our quality of life.
The water sources literally come down into a great bowl:
And then continue toward the sea:
The blue is the Little River and wide areas of wetlands.
It is hard to imagine that as recently as early 2000 plans were made to cover this area with buildings, houses and streets. In New Jersey, which knows how to do urban sprawl very well, flood waters have hit communities as close as ten miles from the sea with levels as high as the second floor. Thanks to the vision of dedicated open space advocates here, we have been spared from this terrible fate.
All I ask is to consider your downstream neighbors and push for the protection of this open space – the result will be a whole host of thankful businessmen and homeowners.
Let’s resurrect the Golden Rule and care about the entire City.