As planners consider aesthetic standards for development of Columbia County, the priceless nature of trees is worth greater consideration.
The beauty and appeal of Columbia County is due, in large part, to its trees, which are increasingly razed to expand economic development. Acres of old woods are often replaced with pavement, small shrubs and young saplings decades from maturity.
Existing trees can be incorporated into parking in front of buildings, as in the beautifully landscaped Queensborough National Bank and Trust Co., at 4226 Columbia Road. Although initial costs to retain and build around trees may be higher, integrating trees into design, instead of large-scale removal, pays great dividends to a community.
The value of trees may be difficult to measure, but providing homes for birds and wildlife, slowing and purifying run-off, reducing air temperatures, absorbing noise, offering shade, cleansing the atmosphere, aesthetic beauty - how can monetary value be placed on these?
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