Tuesday, November 16, 2010
This Meeting Will Now Come To.....
This meeting will now come to order! Yesterday myself and another one of the ETSU Cycling team members, Greg Kaufman, attended the Faculty Senate meeting held in the D.P. Culp center here on campus. They were discussing the proposed land swap with Carnegie, a huge ritzy type hotel, adjacent to the campus. Dr. Stanton, ETSU President, wants to give them 30 acres of land AND $400,000.00 dollars for 3.5 acres next to the Carnegie and parking garage. If this deal goes through the students, cycling team, hikers, bikers and the surrounding community will lose 1/3rd of the ETSU trail system here ON campus. It was nice to hear so many professors' and Dr.s' supporting the effort to save the woods! It was more than 50%! ETSU wants to build a huge fine arts building for the fine arts curriculum. I'm all for building a fine arts building and furthering better education but not at the expense of tearing down a forest for it. Why don't engineers and planners plan for growth that's more appropriate? By the time the planners get to where they plan to be it's time for another plan!?!?!?! The cycle repeats itself. The question was also raised "could ETSU purchase the 3.5 acres outright?" Dr.Collins stated that the city (Johnson City) and PBA (not sure who they are) have agreements about tax revenue and waiving the taxes for such a deal. Also they (PBA) would not recieve ANY tax revenue if a state operated entity (ETSU) buys it "right out". Ahhhhhhhhhh the water is not as murky now huh? It all boils down to the all mighty dollar like it always does. BS! These are just a couple of points that I have come to understand so far the issue has many more layers. Another question why wasn't this shown in the 2010 Master Plan that ETSU has available publicly? Dr. Stanton was doing this off the radar.... not good!!! Looks as if he may have got caught with his hand in the cookie jar?? Something is not right about this deal at all. I wanted to raise my hand during the meeting and address the Faculty Senators but as an student bystander that was invited by one of the Student Senators I wasn't sure about it so I kept quite. The question I wanted to ask was...." what about the grassy field across Southwest Ave? Why not develop it? There's no trees to kill, it's already been cleared and not many people or students use it. We, the cycling team, use it for short track but we could find another place for that.
Above is a trail map of ETSU and our current trail system. Below the arrows point at the section Dr. Stanton wants to "swap". The school would lose 1/3 of the trails we have now. 1/3rd of the XC course would be lost and ALL of the DH (downhill) course would be gone as well. There are a few hiking trails intermingled about the woods also that would be lost.
One of the biology professors gave a presentation about the trees and plant life that grew in the Carter Woods. He found trees that are over 235 yrs old there. A tree that the recent storm downed he investigated had aver 215 growth rings but the center was rotted out. He estimated that there was probably 20-30 more there as well. Yellow trillium's are a rare species that grow throughout the Carter Woods too. One Faculty Senator stated that "when they were building Buc Ridge, that sits adjacent to his property, was under construction the powers that be said none of the old oak trees would be harmed". They were the first to hit the ground" he said with sorrow in his voice. The Faculty Senate did vote for a resolution to give the students an open forum to discuss this to get all the information. The SGA is starting emergency legislation to stop the swap altogether. This is all I know so far. Keep your fingers crossed it looks as if the woods have a good chance of surviving!!
at 6:51 AM