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Sunday, May 26, 2024
The Observer

From park to parking lot

Recently, the University sacrificed one of the few remaining woodlots on campus to make way for 700 new parking spaces. The University decided it would be best to convert six acres of a working ecosystem into its higher purpose as a baked asphalt wasteland. Notre Dame promises us action on the environmental front, but all the Waste Free Wednesdays, promises of carbon emission reduction and windmills in the world will not help ecosystems from getting turned into parking lots. Notre Dame is truly serious about practical environmental action as it claims, it should commit to halting developmental sprawl and protecting even the smallest remaining natural areas on campus.

I understand that six acres of midwestern woods isn't exactly a national park. At the same time, our lakes and woods on campus provide recreational, educational, aesthetic and biodiversity services that improve quality of life. The University is destroying six acres of quality-of-life, to be replaced with an eyesore. I fear by the time my children are old enough to play catch on South Quad, there will be nary a woodland left on Notre Dame's campus where I can take my kids to fish, bike or walk. Development is a slippery slope, and both the students and the University will suffer. It's time for the University to get serious about the environment. Stop construction and restore the woodlot.

Jack McLaren 
Knott Hall
Nov. 20

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.