Monoculture

complete with bouncy house
Sunday a forum was staged by the Martha Jefferson Neighborhood Association to brainstorm with members of City Staff, Council and Planning Commission what to do now that MJH has taken the suburban plunge.
I have deep affection for Martha Jefferson Hospital but no love for the mess its exit leaves behind, the acres of impervious surface, the far-flung degraded neighborhood landscape of single family residences repurposed to house the filing cabinets and fax machines of medicos.
No summary offered here of brain storm sequelae.

On a personal note, I had a profane response, an emotive outburst (fortunately, not televised) following the brainstorming session. The position in which Martha Jefferson and Little High neighborhoods find themselves is similar to that of the Woolen Mills neighborhood and that similarity provoked me to say GOD DAMN.
Fifty years ago the Woolen Mills lost a neighborhood institution. Since the time of that loss the Woolies (Woolen Mills neighbors) have worked with City Staff, the Council and the Planning Commission to take corrective steps to lessen the consequences of the vacuum, the big emptiness that happens when a mono-culture moves on.
These cases of institutional death and institutional relocation are different. The problems faced by the neighborhoods are different. But the cast in the plays are the same. Planners, bureaucrats, politicians, developers and citizens.
Woolies have worked steadily for 50 years to improve the quality of life in their neighborhood.
Frankly, we have received little aid from the City in our efforts.
GD.

somethingosis

q alba
I hope there is something symbiotic going on here. A silver lining to this opportunistic invasion for the oak tree. Some benefit. I assume something living emerges from these things? What?

There are hundreds of critters who call Quercus food. I arrived at Oak Grove after the banquet. Trying to figure who was at the table by the patterns of foliar destruction and what kind of poop is lying around. Then they are microscopic opportunists. Viruses, blights, bugs on bugs… Tooth and claw.

Arbor Day


Charlottesville schoolchildren measure the circumference of Quercus alba at Forest Hills Park.

CATS plaque
The Tree Stewards stressed that this tree is a survivor. Its life recently hasn’t been easy. It’s under professional care. Time will tell.


There is a saying about oaks, something to the effect of :
“They spend 100 years growing, 100 years thriving and 100 years dying.”
No telling how old these trees are. They were located on the woodland of the James Fife’s farm “Oak Lawn”. Thanks to the Fife folk for seeing beyond the timber value of these trees.


One of my few regrets in life is that I didn’t start planting trees earlier. Maybe these people will grow up without that regret.

Councilor Smith and TC chair Waters
Is there space for trees in Charlottesville? Do “ecosystem services” matter? These issues are under discussion by the Planning Commission and the City Council. Now there is a Tree Commission in the mix.