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LETTER: Willoughby’s development does not consider climate change

A local resident is concerned that nature is being sacrificed in the fast-growing neighbourhood.

Dear Editor,

I am writing into you today in hopes of addressing an underlying issue that is negatively impacting our environment: Willoughby.

I have lived in Langley my entire life. I was born and raised here. Even as an adult now, I choose to reside in Walnut Grove. It is an absolutely beautiful part of Langley, and has great amounts of greenery and wildlife.

The current destruction of Willoughby’s trees is why I am writing to you today. Willoughby has turned into an ugly, congested mess of housing with no proper infrastructure and most importantly, no greenery. None of the construction companies leave any room in their development plans to allow for the sufficient amount of trees that produce beautiful spaces full of wildlife, shade and most importantly oxygen.

A perfect example of this would be Willoughby Town Centre. It did not exist six to seven years ago. In fact, there was a large green space filled with trees there, right behind Willoughby Elementary. Now what resides behind the elementary school are buildings, little to no trees, and that certainly does not help our current climate change crisis. Is this a good thing for our current and future children?

The current developments in Willoughby surrounding the bus park-and-ride are currently the next developments that are tearing trees down. I can see the destruction every morning on my way to work. All I see are cranes and the start of trees being torn down. All I used to see was a beautiful wall of trees. Would you rather see trees or just buildings? Our current mayor and council make no effort to protect our trees. Trees that we need to live. At the rate Willoughby is going, there will be nothing left but large buildings crammed into small spaces, with little to no trees. I know there have been issues concerning the tree bylaws in Langley; however, nothing is being done about protecting the trees.

Change is happening now. We are not helping our climate by tearing down trees. Walnut Grove and Brookswood are perfect examples of what Willoughby should be. They have both been developed in such a way that allows for both housing and nature.

We need trees to live. This is no surprise. They produce the oxygen that we need. With us already being unable to meet our Climate Change Act [requirements], developments need to be carried out with much more caution. We need a better balance between trees and housing in Willoughby, which I hope people will soon, start caring about.

Please help me to address this issue, and change it before we destroy what is left of our trees and wildlife.

Alexis Atchison, Walnut Grove

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