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Article published March 13, 2013
Jarrod Shoupe Jefferson Township
There is some incredible tree-killing going on around Butler County. A few acres of wetlands were destroyed and burned in order to construct distracting billboards along Route 356 in Knox Chapel. A huge string of trees was destroyed along Bonniebrook Road near Route 422. More woods were destroyed to put in a gas line near Thoma Meat Market in Saxonburg. A similar tale can be told of a densely wooded area near Portman Road. A road in Jefferson Township with the word “woods” in its name had the township cut pine trees in half and ruin the forested appearance of the road. Forty acres of woodlands were scrapped to make way for Butler Crossing in 2007, with its ironic “fuel efficient vehicles only” signs in the paved parking lot where deer used to live. Can deforestation really be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified? Hundreds more acres of forest have been destroyed in Cranberry Township to build treeless neighborhoods, random hotels, strip malls and a religious school. The school’s principal creed? “God created the Earth.” I’m not sure He would approve of razing a verdant forest that housed millions of organisms and cleansed the air of pollution. Butler’s Deshon Woods has been destroyed to make way for a new U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs complex. Didn’t the current location on New Castle Road already have millions of dollars pumped into renovations? Alameda Park in Butler Township is now, embarrassingly, a deforestation attraction. While irresponsible people continue to destroy the woods that give Pennsylvania its name and beauty, others have a different plan. Those who care are working to reverse others’ actions by planting new trees and cleaning up the land on which they were given the privilege to live. Won’t you plant a tree to keep Pennsylvania beautiful?