Because forests, woodlands and individual trees have no voices, it’s up to faithful stewards of the good earth to speak up on their behalf for the sake of the common good.

Background

Chatham Park Investors (CPI) is building a mega-development for 60,000 people that encompasses beautiful forestland along the Haw River and Jordan Lake. Under CPI’s current Tree Protection Additional Element, only 3% to 25% of the existing trees will be saved. This is unacceptable for any development, much less one of this size in such a sensitive ecosystem. Much of Chatham County will be impacted by Chatham Park’s air and water pollution, and people throughout the region will feel the effects, including recreation and drinking water users of the Haw River and Jordan Lake. As flooding and heat increase with climate change, the role of trees is more important that ever.

Our eco-justice allies at the Haw River Assembly have been leading the charge for a more responsible and sustainable tree protection ordinance for the huge 7,000+ acre Chatham Park development being built on the outskirts of Pittsboro. The eco-justice team of Pittsboro Presbyterian Church has joined with the Haw River Assembly in contacting the Town Board members to save more established trees.

Because the Town Board will soon vote on the tree protection proposal, we are urging citizens to take this opportunity to let the Town of Pittsboro know that the proposed Tree Coverage is completely inadequate.

What to do

Procession of the Trees – Friday May 10, 5 – 6:30 p.m
Get in step with fellow concerned citizens and join the second Procession of the Trees around Chatham County’s historic Courthouse in downtown Pittsboro. Show your support for more trees being saved in Chatham Park. Process around the courthouse with signs, banners, puppets and music, Make a sign or use one already prepared. Bring a musical instrument, dress like a tree, wear green or just come and join in the rally. The first such rally drew nearly 200 citizens of all ages.

Write and/or speak to the Pittsboro Town Board
The town website is https://pittsboronc.gov/. The Pittsboro Town Board plans to return to discussion of the Tree Protection Element on at the beginning of their next Board Meeting on Monday May 13, which will start at 6 pm at Town Hall. Please come and show your support for a stronger tree protection ordinance.

Ask for a stronger tree protection ordinance that will:

  • Preserve more of the existing forest, especially within 2000 feet of the Haw River.

  • Require denser plantings of replacement trees – one canopy tree per 750 sq. ft. is too sparse

  • Eliminate The Tree Coverage Planning Area – a loophole that could be used to reduce the total number of trees preserved or replanted. There needs to be  clear and precise language in these rules – every site that is developed should have the trees required on it, and not someplace else.

    Read the full talking points HERE

Watch a short video of the first Procession of the Trees on February 15 https://youtu.be/KJmCWJuMP5A about the Chatham Park Tree Protection issue – with footage from the Procession of the Trees (produced by Amanda Roberson with her footage, plus video and photos by Peter Theye, Mark Barroso and Gary Simpson).