Preserve dark skies, fight Longmeadow plan
Over the past months I have enjoyed reading the Nature of Things column written by Valerie Blaine, the nature programs manager for the Forest Preserve District of Kane County.
In a Dec. 21 article, "In defense of dark skies," she comments, "night lighting affects entire food webs." and "with ever more powerful lighting we are wrecking havoc on creatures with physiologies far more delicate than ours, interfering with the lifeways of suites of organisms that have evolved over millennia with a dependable pattern of light and dark."
She sums up her article by saying, " A dark, starfilled sky is just plain beautiful."and "It puts us in our place in the vast universe."
Yet the forest preserve district where she works is supportive of putting the Longmeadow Parkway and toll bridge through the few remaining dark places in the county along the Fox River, allowing construction of a four lane highway with a lit toll plaza in the middle of the now dark Brunner Family Forest Preserve. This highway/toll bridge will be a tragedy.
Picture a toll plaza similar to the Elgin toll plaza on I-90 with its hundreds of lights burning 24/7 plus accompanying street lights, and loud vehicle noise, all along the parkway. This negative impact on our environment is but one reason of many other reasons that constructing the Longmeadow Parkway/toll bridge is just plain wrong environmentally and financially for the people and the animals living in the county.
As Ms. Blaine states, "Just ask an owl" how important a dark night is, then I urge you to get involved with others working against this project and to have the forest preserve come out against this travesty and actually do their mission to protect our environment instead of being programmed by certain county officials.
Peter B. Drottar