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architect77

Plant a Tree Tomorrow

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We can all help preserve the Triangle's beauty and help its air quality by simply planting a tree. Clearcutting clearly is among the biggest threats to the Triangle. Longtime NC residents seem to take trees for granted and might not even realize what is happening. I am appalled with developers unecessarily removing every standing tree in order to make the construction process easier and less expensive. Look at that new brick apt. complex on 401N/Louisburg Rd just beyond New Hope Rd. Leaving some trees would have greatly added to its appeal.

Everyone start a movement with city officials to ban clearcutting and simultaneously challenge the public to start a tree-planting initiative. I don't know much about trees, however pine seedlings grow very fast, and I've heard that Japanese Maples are quite desirable. My father brought some bamboo trees back from Europe during the Korean War and planted them at my grandmother's house in Louisburg near the town's water treatment facility. It grew to into a huge bamboo forest covering about 3 acres in the city limits. The town of Louisburg deemed it a nuisance and destroyed it completely. Five years later it had re-emerged and now is bigger than ever. Every spring new shoots appeared around the forest's periphery expanding outward about 10 feet. No wonder bamboo is considered very "sustainable" and eco-friendly. It also makes for a gorgeous floor covering.

The City of Raleigh should also be persuaded to start some beautification projects on various thoroughfares around town.

Lastly, I recognize that we all become desensitized to our local surroundings. I live in Manhattan which to most of America looks filthy and unattractive, yet I think nothing of it. When I come to Raleigh for a visit however, as I drive into town on US1/Capital Blvd. the first thing I notice is all of the roadside clutter of those little 2ft signs sticking out of the ground advertising real estate. Must Raleigh look like a perpetual construction site full of temporary-looking signage everywhere? And businesses just throw all of their merchandise alongside the highway for display. Compare this sloppy aesthetic to cities like Palm Springs, CA, where everything is neat and orderly complete with clean-looking steel and fabric sunshading canopies.

Also a huge problem: the sea of parking lots in front of every store. The Target in Mini City should be the poster child for this. You almost need binoculars to see the building.

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I don't know about other cities in the area, but Raleigh already has a clear-cutting ordinance in place.

On Jan 9th at 7 pm at , city council is holding a hearing to get public input -- N&O article and city web page.

In regards to bamboo, would you like it if your neighbors planted whatever they wanted in your yard? Probably not. People can say they will tame it, but what if they move? Or, like my former neighbor, what if they get tired of dealing with the new shoots? Once it grows over the property line, it becomes the neighbor's problem, like it or not.

The problem with litter along streets is that a large segment of our population has decided that their trash is someone else's problem as soon as it leaves their hands. The "adopt a highway/street/stream" projects do not give you carte blanche to throw down your bag of doritos when there isn't a trash can within ten feet. I can (and do) pick up trash in front of my house and often when I walk downtown. But I often feel that I shouldn't be someone else's custodian.

The sea of parking is mostly due to zoning ordinaces that require a certain number of parking spaces for business. Putting the parking between the building and the road is due to people thinking there is no parking available if they can't see it. And the "planning commission" (though I use the term loosely) approves anything that meets bare minimum requirements and increases the tax base. Parking decks are "too expensive" and aesthitic improvements are rarely proposed or required. Every tree planted takes away one more parking space.

The sad part is Raleigh is better than nearby areas like the I-40/NC 42 interchange in Garner, the busier streets in Greenville, etc. It could be better still, but is not as bad as it could be.

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Is it legal to plant non-native invasive plant species anyway? Also, the litter problem is out of control. I-40 looks like a landfill at times. Do construction workers not know how to fasten their loads down? If you ever want a drywall bucket, insulation, plastic, coolers, etc. just head out to I-40. Fast food eaters also seem to be the perps as well with McD's, Bojangles, KFC, Wendy's customers leading the charge.

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Is it legal to plant non-native invasive plant species anyway?

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While ther are plenty of people who plant non-native species here in North Carolina, and while they do add to the beauty of the landscpae, it is definitely best to plant trees that are native to NC. You can check out the NC Dept of forestry or NC State Extension websites for a recommended list of Native tree species.

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I think I'm going to plant some of these in my yard one day. I have a thing for Palm Trees, I think they are resilient plants. These pictures are from a house off of Durant Rd. in Raleigh taken during last summer. I think everyone should do there part and plant a tree now and then. And I commend the city for the tree ordinance. Although I feel it should have been inacted years ago.

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The sea of parking is mostly due to zoning ordinaces that require a certain number of parking spaces for business.

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