Thank you for creating a path from 32nd Street to Oxbow. The expected benefits are good, encouraging cycling as a means of transport and inviting to engage in the river corridor. I also witness the incredible grief of our community after the loss of 33 elderberries and huge willow stands along the Animas River.
An elder, Grandma Cottonwood, still stands at the 32nd Street Bridge. It does not interfere; it invites a better way.
May we prioritize life, quality of life for all of our relationships. May we protect elderberries and wild ecosystems. May our designs reflect the depth of connection we have with our place identity. May we adapt to a grandmother wiser and older than any of us.
Old trees keep our earth cool, keep water in the biosphere, and trap water in the soil like a damp sponge. They sequester carbon dioxide, provide habitat for wildlife, shade, beauty, peace and friendship. A concrete path does not.
The bottom line is that Grandma Cottonwood’s life is precious and represents a path honoring the relationships with the roots that grow here before us. Let her tell our grandchildren how she was protected by the community of Durango.
The current design is the shortest distance between two points, a straight line. Actress Mae West once said, “The nicest distance between two points is a curved line.” Let’s take a look at our plan for Grandma Cottonwood, a vital member of our community who provides wisdom in shady riparian habitat.