"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Friday, 4 May 2012

Silent and Deadly Spring

The following e-mail was received yesterday . It relates to the proposed  tree-cutting bylaw discussion during the public planning meeting last week.

Dear Councillor Buck 
You did have a few questions so I just wanted to clarify, I want to assure you that we are committed to a healthy relationship with everyone living within our community and everyone at Beacon Hall wants to continue to make Beacon Hall a giving member of the Aurora community.  I also wanted to say that  the sight and sound of a tree falling is not something that we enjoy in any shape or form. We are trying to provide a wonderful golf experience that involves co-existing with nature. The club is a member of the Audubon Sanctuary Program and has been for the past seven years.

We are 270 acres of green space in the heart of Aurora, as for land use there are not many better environmental options. Where people can play in the outdoors amongst nature. The golf course is one giant oxygen producer and adsorbs carbon dioxide in the centre of the city. It cools temperatures, softens noise and prevents erosion.

Over time, some trees within the golf course have grown to overshadow greens, making it difficult to maintain high quality, resilient turf to support golf play.
The Club completed a science-based assessment to determine precisely which trees were impacting the ability to grow turf on the various tees and greens within the golf course. The study employed computer modeling and real time shade studies to identify trees that were specifically impacting turf growth. We did this internally to protect which trees did not need removal and precisely identify which ones did.

Turf requires specific ratios of sunlight, moisture, nutrition, etc. to remain in a good resilient state that can withstand the impacts of play. Consequently golf course must have the latitude to manage trees specifically and the landscape in general to ensure that they remain viable and successful businesses in the realm of the competitive golf marketplace. If the exemption was not in place and a course was for whatever reason not permitted to remove trees that grow very large over time and impact the quality or playability of the course, this in turn would directly impact the viability of the course as a business.

In today’s ever changing pesticide regulation laws, the Ministry of the Environment requires golf courses to use all turf management knowledge to reduce pesticide inputs. Adding sunlight and increasing airflow will have the single most significant reduction in pesticide use to grow and sustain turf.

I  want to thank you again and if there is anything I can provide the Town, I am more than happy to assist.


I received permission to share this e-mail .. Discussion on  the  blog about golf in general and clubs in particular  indicates  the subject is of  particular interest..

Other than the fact it was the first development proposal  combining  homes, a  golf course and at the time a fitness club, creating a wealthy exclusive neighbourhood, I know little about Beacon Hall. 

But it makes sense to me , people living there  would  have as much interest and likely  more, in maintaining the trees, as those living outside but on the edge.

I have not played golf in years but I  know a golf course is a beautiful place to be on a fine summer day.

 I know  space taken up by a course is not taken up with development. It may  not  be as  beneficial to our assessment  or employment base as other industries. but  the benefit of   huge acreages of  land  in  near to natural state more than offsets that disadvantage.

I  think few  residents of  Aurora would oppose a golf course in preference for  residential or industrial
development. People pay  a premium  for homes abutting golf courses. In the case of Beacon Hall, much of a forest was removed to create home sites for  people ow complaining about trees being culled on the golf course.

On a side issue, the province, under pressure,  passed legislation prohibiting the use of  herbicides  and insecticides  to maintain grass. and gardens.

 In time there will be no grass.Only weeds. It's already  a fact on town boulevards.

residents  will  turn to  hardscapes.  That's happening too. This  will increase heat in summer. 

 More people will use  air-conditioning and stay in their homes.Carbon dioxide  created will increase  the pollution index . The elderly and very young  will be advised to stay in their homes to escape the hazards of life outdoors.

Eventually trees will  no longer be planted. . Not because of the expense to plant but because  the rules make it too expensive and difficult to remove,  if it  happens  to die  from being attacked by a bug  that came from someplace else and has no  natural enemies. 

I am on a roll here.

How long  before  a bylaw infraction with a ten thousand dollar fine will discourage planting.  All  seedlings will be ruthlessly removed before they  can reach three  inches in diameter, birds will have  no sheltered  place  to nest, humans will have to live underground to escape suffocation from  heat and pollution and  health damage from radiation.   Lakes and rivers will dry up and  Schomberg clay  will turn to cement

If somebody hasn't made it already, no doubt it's a great theme for a horror movie. 

 I  already have  a great  selection of characters. 




Anonymous said...

I would hardly call Beacon Hall in the "Heart" of Aurora. It's barely in Aurora.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, 8:27. It is outside the pre-1971 regionalization town limits.