Thursday, June 5, 2008

Zoo expansion threatens city treasure

Letters to the Editor
Thursday, June 5, 2008 - Commercial Appeal
Zoo expansion threatens city treasure

There are perhaps people living in Memphis today who don't realize why the Memphis Zoo is as nice as it is. At one time, an expressway was planned to cut right through the heart of Overton Park. Dr. Arlo Smith was able to preserve the unique Old Forest ecosystem by fighting long, hard court battles and finally winning, thus enabling a lovely setting for the zoo with citizen support to renovate it.

The Memphis Zoo officers are now seeking to encroach on Overton Park forested land that is one of the country's largest urban forests.

The Citizens to Preserve Overton Park are fighting now to keep this land preserved. We need to communicate to the zoo leadership that new trees cannot compare to the value of old forest trees, botanicals and wildlife. It is time to be creative and efficient by using nonforested areas.

Linda Cowden