by Rosemarie G. Sawdon
Letter to the editor, Roanoke Times, published in the NRV Burgs, July 7, 2013
Friends of Stadium Woods has learned that the area surrounding the woods and on one side of the old-growth trees will be used to park football team vehicles before and during games.
This issue received much publicity last season as the vehicles were parked on the root system of more than 300-year-old trees, and five people were arrested for protesting to protect the trees.
Although the revised plan is considered a compromise, the woods may very well be in jeopardy. Vehicles will be driven from the Cranwell Center parking area to the other end of the woods to a dedicated parking area with designated spaces. Even though it is stated that the vehicles must stay on the paved area, there is concern about enforcement of this policy. Also of concern is Area C, which is on the side of the path with the old growth trees, and there is a possibility that tree roots could be affected.
There is no substantive reason not to find another area on campus where these vehicles can be parked, and this very decision illustrates the obvious disregard the athletic department has in protecting an irreplaceable old growth urban forest area.
Vice President Sherwood Wilson should reconsider his decision to accept this new proposal, and in the true spirit of being a “Tree Campus,” protect the area known as Stadium Woods.
ROSEMARIE G. SAWDON