Bedford is—as you can't help noticing when you drive into town, thanks to the signs at every major border crossing—a "Tree City USA" community. That means that we're fans of trees, I suppose, but you'd never know it from how much folks seem to enjoy chopping them down.
Mostly we see it in our neighbors, but the latest anti-tree atrocity was inflicted upon the patch of woods—the Jordan Conservation Area, if you want to get fancy—abutting our local "airport", Hanscom Field. You can see the results above. In this case it wasn't local Bedfordians who were to blame but MassPort, who claimed that the clear-cutting was necessary for safety reasons. Never fear, though, they figure we probably won't even notice! To quote Stewart Dalzell, Massport’s departmental director of environmental planning and permitting:
Nothing we’re doing is changing the use of that property. We’re replacing vegetation with other vegetation that doesn’t grow so high. Certainly it will look different, but ultimately, the area in question is a passive recreation area. When we get done, all of its uses will still be the same.
Yes. Except for the uses of providing animal habitat, restraining runoff, and not looking like ass. (You'll noteby the way that by "replacing" our Stew means cutting down what's there and waiting for something else to grow.)
In the interest of fairness, I am obliged to note that at the same time they're cutting down roadside trees the fine folks at Hanscom are also contributing to beautifying the town by abandoning the trailer park which used to house base personnel. Thanks to the grass seed they through down where the trailers used to be and the many flowering trees that grace the neighborhood, the area is now in a fair way towards becoming a charming little piece of parkland.
Certainly, the squibix family boys—that's Harvey, Rascal, and I—enjoyed it on our walk the other day; but so did we enjoy, when it comes to that, walking through the clear-cut area. It was very interesting: the observant eye notices for the first time the shape of the landscape, the view beyond the hill, and the fact that the cutting zone is in no way in line with either of the runways. Oh well, I suppose planes do sometimes run off-course. And not quite everything was cut down... even bulldozers have hearts, perhaps.