Include trees in plans for commercial development

Editor,

Thank you for the recent informative article about potential new development at exit 23.

This is an open letter to Dick Stauffer, Lincoln Township supervisor, and Marc Florian, technical advisor to the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority,  regarding the future development of the former 5 O’Clock Sports Bar site.

Trees and landscaping add value to property on a number of different levels: aesthetic, health benefits and property tax revenue. Beautiful landscapes invite visitors and an appreciation of nature.

After World War II, money was raised to plant elm trees along Red Arrow Highway to honor veterans. The trees graced the highway with shade and tree-leaf-filtering of car fumes. On the corner of Glenlord Road, opposite Walgreens, was a majestic spruce. The robbery and murder of the owner of Miller’s Grocery led to the store closing. The property was sold and became the site of a mall and the felling of that spruce, which softened the appearance of concrete parking area. The current mall has no landscaping, unlike Walgreens, which greatly enhances the corner of Glenlord Road and Red Arrow Highway.

Our eye is naturally drawn to what is beautiful. Landscaping is a good marketing tool. Patients in hospitals get better faster when they have a window that offers a view of nature.

Exit 22 now has a property-for-sale sign on the southeast side of the exit, a site of mature trees and a lovely rolling landscape. I’ve thought about buying the property and donating it to Stevensville to keep it as it is. My guess is that Stevensville trustees would rather see it developed for the tax revenue.

I would like to advocate for the township to consider in its approval process of site developments recommendations for landscaping that enhances the natural beauty of our area. For example, some shopping malls with large parking areas include trees in the parking lot, like Martin’s Supermarket in Stevensville. I wish Meijer at exit 23 would do the same.

I believe we can do a better job of beautifying our roadways and business establishments, cleaning the air of pollution and addressing the effects of climate change by planting and saving trees where we can.

Grace Gianforte

Coloma