Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Boulevard Lost its Trees

One of my favorite places to walk in Chiclayo is a dirt path bordered by a canal on one side and a stand of trees on the other. Though it’s located in the city and is adjacent to Chinchaysuyo Avenue which sees its share of traffic, the trees, canal, birds and flowers create a peaceful park-like setting that extends for a distance of about three miles. Among the many species of trees are eucalyptus, poinciana, several varieties of palms and towering pine trees. Two weeks ago I noticed city work crews cutting down trees. I thought they were selectively thinning the trees or perhaps removing old trees in danger of falling. Not so.

Now, where there were hundreds and hundreds of trees there are none. Not one tree is standing. A three mile stretch has been completely denuded of all vegetation. I’m sure the city has a good reason for cutting down those trees, perhaps as a part of some ‘modernization/beautification’ program, but I suspect I’m not the only one who is thinking the area was beautiful as it was.

If there is a good side to this story, it’s that the wood was not left lying to rot. Though I didn’t see it, probably within hours after the work crews moved on neighborhood people were out there cutting the fallen trees into manageable lengths to be used for cooking purposes or to make furniture or artifacts. Yesterday there were still several machete-wielding women out there salvaging the few remaining wood scraps.

I wonder if whatever is going to be done with the boulevard will include the cooing of doves, or the sweet aroma of eucalyptus, or the blazing red blossoms of the poinciana trees that I enjoyed so much while walking there.


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