Nothing sweet about a recipe for desert

After reading a couple of the letters in the Thursday, March 29 paper, I’d like to add a couple of related comments.

Trees and shrubs are struggling with climate change, but the “cookie-cutter houses” referred to in another letter are exacerbating the trees’ struggle. I went for a long walk on the waterfront in Parksville at low tide during a rainstorm last fall. The stormwater runoff was a huge surge. This is mostly water that used to soak into the ground for the trees and plants to use when it’s not raining.

It seems that all the new housing built consists of gigantic houses that cover the entirety of the lot they are sited upon. Oftentimes, they are built where the land was moist or swampy, then drained. In these new subdivisions, what is not pavement is a roof. A recipe for a desert is to make the land impermeable to water.

First, clearcut the trees, then scrape off any remaining moisture-absorbent topsoil and finally cover the land with pavement and roofs.

Kudos to Parksville council for reversing its decision on boulevard trees. Now it’s time to protect the trees that remain in the area, and to reconsider what kind of subdivisions are permitted. Smaller, more affordable and sustainable houses would be preferable to the McMansions currently being built.

David Mitchell

Qualicum Beach

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