Ambling, Ohio University bulldoze
forest for development destruction
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Faxed message by Hocking Voice about the Ambling development:

Dear Athens City Council,

 The green forested landscape that is still common around Athens cannot be taken for granted.  The unique character and charm of Athens also cannot be taken for granted.

 Ohio University needs to cap its enrollment and stop sprawling over ever more countryside around Athens City.  We have plenty of big box apartment complexes that erode the unique character of our town.  There is plenty of development all over Ohio.  What makes us unique is the rare pieces of forest.

 The 30 acre forested hill across Richland Avenue from the Ohio University Inn would be a perfect addition to the Ridges park area, as it is adjacent to it.  The forested ridge directly affects the character of South Side Park.  The loss of wildlife habitat will be directly felt by the lack of invaluable natural contact to children who frequent the South Side Athens City Park.

 During just a 30 minute hike recently, I encountered six deer and a dozen and a half wild turkey.  These are charming encounters that the thousands of trapped OU students without cars could just walk a short distance to see.  Further, we need areas like this so people who do have cars don't need to drive to see nature.  Green space needs to be seen as a basic need not only to the wildlife, but also to the people of Athens.  It enlivens our community with joyous songbirds and wild life while enhancing the aesthetics that makes Athens so charming.

 But we are rapidly losing that charm as more and more forests are developed around the city.

    Ohio University's development is between Hooper Street and Richland Avenue across Richland from the OU Inn.  The area would have made a great park and hiking trails as a rare forested space in the city.  But OU has not even held its own public hearing about the development, and is bulldozing away without sufficient public scrutiny.