To the editor:
In 1975, I (Joy) was student teaching at what was then Grant School. I took the class on a walking field trip to the woods along Mud Creek, delighted that there was a natural wooded habitat so near. A short time later, the creek was channelized: woods cut down, banks straightened and lined with rock. We thought that in recent years scientists had agreed that channelizing creeks just made the water rush through faster to increase flooding downsteam and were hopeful that the channelization of Mud Creek was being allowed to reverse itself with time.
Alas, this was not the case. As we drive south from our farm, crossing Mud Creek on our way to Lawrence, we have been watching the massive machinery cutting the trees growing along the creek north of the airport. We were sad at the demise, once again, of the woods, but hoped that at least the cut wood would be well-utilized. Now we see that it has been chipped into mulch. The creek is exposed to the direct rays of the sun, habitat is destroyed, and a resource was turned into the least useful product. The highest use of a mature tree is not wood chips.
We cannot afford to continue to waste our natural resources in this way, nor can we continue to act as though we can manipulate the water flowing through our community without causing undesirable consequences both here and downstream.