Ben and Tammy chuckled and reminisced over
a cup of coffee at Barnes and Noble one Friday afternoon.
It had been a few years since they had seen each other.
Ben was studying to be an architect at the U of Minnesota,
and Tammy was just starting graduate school in Botany at Colorado
State. Now, they were both back home for a week before
their summer jobs began elsewhere.
"Hey, I've got a great idea!"
exclaimed Ben, "Let's go find that spot where we used to
camp for weeks down by the Missouri!
"Yeah," agreed Tammy, "That
place was the best! Great fishing, too. And now
with my all-knowledgeable degree in Botany, I'll be sure to not
get caught up in the poison ivy."
The two chums drove to the park's edge in
which they used to spend hours exploring, and found the faint
trail that led to their recreational haven. However,
much to their surprise, when they pushed their way through the
underbrush of the cottonwoods, they were faced with a 2-story
home that covered at least 3500 ft2,
complete with columns around the front door and landscaping
right up to the river's edge.
"Gee, Tam, this isn't quite how I
remembered it," Ben sighed. "I guess they
decided to upscale the camping facilities around here."
"You're so clever Ben,"
Tammy said sarcastically. "So much for your great
idea. You know, isn't this supposed to be a publicly
accessible park, and a conserved one at that? Look at
the lots cleared for even more homes. Don't people
realize that their manicured lawns and ornamental plants can
affect the native plant species habitats?"
"It is disappointing, but look on the
bright side, Tam, at least they used a simple cottage design
for their dream home. Though the columns are tacky,
I must admit. Hey, they kept a cottonwood in their backyard,"
"Seriously, Ben," Tammy retorted.
"Development can have many effects on biodiversity and
the quality of the natural environment."
"True, but you have to consider other
perspectives," replied Ben. "This scenery and
the view are important in architectural design. I'm not
so sure about the building codes so close to the water's edge,
but I doubt they're doing that much damage. This area is
important to a lot of people in our area. Not everyone's