March 29, 2023

Elegy to a Boring Old Bush.

It’s just a bush.

It’s just a bush. Let’s cut it down.

It’s just a 40-year-old bush whose roots go deep. That gives a home to frightened birds and bunnies. It’s just a bush that captures dust from cars and trucks that would otherwise go down our throats. It’s just a bush that, on a hot day, helps cool what otherwise would be a (lawn, or pebble yard, or cement) heat island. It’s just a bush that never asks for water or maintenance but gives us clean air in a world with wildfires and increasingly toxicified oxygen (last five summers we’ve had dozens of days of “do not go outside” air quality).

It’s just a bush. Let’s cut it down.


Why a boring old bush matters.

It’s not a sexy subject to many of us, perhaps, but it is to me: ⁠

One of my least favorite trends in Boulder over the last 10 years has gotta be folks, often transplants, cutting down those great big juniper-type bushes with deep roots.

From a climate crisis or eco or permaculture point of view they’re pure gold. They never need watering, they provide habitat, they reduce heat islands and cooling, they reduce dust and noise.

Instead, folks (even our own supposedly eco-minded City staff) are hacking ’em down, and putting in grass that often dies, or pebble rock islands.

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