This post was originally published on Feb 10, 2008.
A great blue heron soars above Lake Raleigh, pictured below. Enjoy these images and then steel yourself: for myself, Russell B., Tom P. and many others, the content of this post is tragic. Places I took my children, I will never show theirs.
The loss of these hillsides, beloved by Raleigh trampers of the non-path, searched (and reportedly sown) by generations of NCSU botanists, studied by students, studded with rich diverse plant and animal populations: this is surely a greater loss in terms of pure ecology than any other Raleigh landscape changes I can think of recently. I know the red clay pictures are unfair, I know the sign (legible if you click on my picture) explains that this will be a model “green” golf course and a lab for NCSU environmental designers (just like the one they are building at the coast just for Basnight!) I even accept that most of these scenes were covered with fairly scrubby trees and was historically cultivated, and that the golf course will offer lots of pluses for wildlife. I was relieved to see the study area still intact on the lake hillside that also contains the new President’s house and Alumni House. But even after the golf course, they are not nearly done building here. Hopefully below is the low spot and it all gets better from here! But I’m sad. Arnold Palmer is designing the course – it’s bound to be pretty traditional design when push comes to shove. Good luck to the foxes! Not much hope for the deer. But then, we’ve got too many of them anyway 😦