To the editor:
In Wellesley, we are lucky to have access to a significant amount of green space, including about 47 miles of trails, several fields, and numerous parks. We need to continue to protect land dedicated to wildlife and foliage for the natural world and for our own health.
Currently 33% of Wellesley is undeveloped. This could very quickly change as Wellesley’s population continues to grow. There are many places that are in danger of being developed such as the land at the North 40. Land bordering the North 40 has already started being constructed for condos. Undeveloped land that is left should be protected and reserved for wildlife, not for satisfying the bank accounts of wealthy business people.
Development of land results in more CO2 production, fewer trees, and harm to wildlife. Construction can destroy these habitats and decrease the number of resident animals. Condos have been shown to be major CO2 producers because of the construction vehicles and materials, and from the people who ultimately start living there.
Green space has been found to help humans’ health in many ways. For instance, it encourages physical activity and helps clean dirty air, essentially reducing the risk factors of non communicable diseases such as chronic respiratory diseases and other diseases, which according to the United Nations are the cause of 68% of all deaths. The CDC estimates that about 7 million deaths would be prevented yearly by increasing the availability and quality of open spaces. Open space has also been shown to help mentally by improving concentration and by bringing a natural sense of tranquility to a person, according to the American Psychological Association.
So many families love using Wellesley’s parks and trails to spend time with others, exercise, and just in general improve our quality of life. Don’t rip away these great places that so many take joy in.
I urge all people to bring this issue to the attention of decision makers in Wellesley. Petition your Town Meeting representatives to protect land like the North 40. The town also needs to change the zoning laws to be more strict about what land can be built on and how it can be used. Speak up to protect our green space.
Wellesley Middle School, 8th grade