The Wellington Hills Sports Complex? No, it's NOT a done deal!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Trees - eye candy or something else?

When driving through Wellington Hills Park on 240th St. SE, glance to south side of the road ... The Teigen Sports Complex Plan has four artificial turf fields with stadium lights, three grass fields, a parking lot for over 500 cars and a 50,000 sq. ft. "Activities Building".

For the moment ignore where the parking lot, activities building, artificial turf fields and various islands of concrete might be ... and focus on the tall trees currently there.

Did you know?

One 36" diameter Western Red Cedar will intercept 5,410 gallons of stormwater runoff a year. (go here for more info0.

Urban stormwater runoff washes chemicals (oil, gasoline, salts, etc.) and litter from surfaces such as roadways and parking lots into streams, wetlands, rivers and oceans. The more impervious the surface (e.g., concrete, asphalt, rooftops), the more quickly pollutants are washed into our community waterways. Drinking water, aquatic life and the health of our entire ecosystem can be adversely effected by this process.

Trees act as mini-reservoirs, controlling runoff at the source. 

Trees reduce runoff by:

  • Intercepting and holding rain on leaves, branches and bark
  • Increasing infiltration and storage of rainwater through the tree's root system
  • Reducing soil erosion by slowing rainfall before it strikes the soil

Here's some more about that 36" dia. Western Red Cedar:

It will reduce atmospheric carbon by 570 pounds.

How significant is this number? Most car owners of an “average” car (mid-sized sedan) drive 12,000 miles generating about 11,000 pounds of CO2 every year. A flight from New York to Los Angeles adds 1,400 pounds of CO2 per passenger. 
How do trees do that? They sequester ("lock up") CO2 in their roots, trunks, stems and leaves while they grow, and in wood products after they are harvested.
Awesome. Double awesome. 
Wellington Hills Park has scads of healthy 80-90 year old Western Red Cedars, Douglas Firs, Maples and Alders.  However, there's a big "if" ...

The trees in Wellington Hills Park should be good for many decades to come ... if, that is, the Department of Parks' plan to de-water the park is squashed.

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