Capital LTE: “Annapolis Needs a Strong Forest Conservation Ordinance”

Capital Gazette: Letters to the Editor, August 13, 2016

I’m an Annapolis native, and for 16 years, a science teacher, mostly at Annapolis High and Broadneck. Living in the City of Annapolis is a privilege. But like many other residents, my concern grows about overdevelopment: a permanent eraser on our community, our environment and way of life.

We teach students that surreptitiousness, seeking fast cash, and destroying nature are bad behaviors. Do those ideals disappear when in government office? Consistently, elected “leaders” blatantly cave in to deep-pocketed developers at the expense of environmental sustainability and constituents’ quality of life.

Save Annapolis! Our city is finally on the verge of adopting its own Forest Conservation Ordinance. But after the changes forced by developer lobbying, the proposal does little to protect Annapolis’ limited remaining forest. They’ve even included a provision that allows developers to pay into an account for replanting, rather than meet reforestation requirements. Reportedly, this is the product of compromise. Where’s the list of developers’ concessions, compared to ours?

We have so little forest left. Our waterways get polluted with sewage problems and runoff. Many species of wildlife are suffering from loss of natural habitat. The city has already approved Parkside “Preserve” and Rocky Gorge to clear 12 and eight acres respectively.

If Crystal Spring is approved, we lose an astounding 40 acres of the last large area of contiguous forest in the city. This teacher and mother struggles to tell youth why this happens. Let’s work for a Forest Conservation Ordinance with actual teeth, protecting forests, and what we love about our area! Hold our “leaders” accountable!


Link to Original Article