Thursday, March 6, 2008

Ancient treasure destroyed in an instant

Letters to the Editor
Thursday, March 6, 2008 - Commercial Appeal
Ancient treasure destroyed in an instant

The forest of Overton Park is truly remarkable in its soil structure and plant diversity. That's because this old-growth forest is roughly 10,000 years old. It has never been cleared or plowed in human memory and that is an amazingly rare and important thing.

Clearing four acres of trees to make way for more zoo is a huge ecological blunder for the sake of city profits -- profits that don't make their way back to the schools, the parks system as a whole, the creation of jobs, or the ease of transportation around this sprawling metropolis.

The city's agenda does not incorporate the entirety of the citizens of Memphis, many of whom cannot afford to go to the zoo because they live in poverty or can't afford to have time off to attend the free afternoon that is offered to them. In the scope of Memphis being part of the world at large, how are we going to benefit from being able to stare at more animals in captivity? How about we try to look within, ourselves animals held captive by the ways of society, and think of ways in which we can do things differently?

Memphis is a city blessed with an amazingly bio-diverse climate, and it is being squandered when it could be highlighted to create a city that would be one of a kind and set an example for the people of the world that visit our river town.

Jessica Buttermore