Got a taste of the full 279 acres of open green space already?

13th Floor Homes proposes to infill 169 acres of open green space in The Woodlands with rows of cookie-cutter housing (398 new dwelling units) and they also want to drench 20 additional acres with water as they tender to pardon 90 acres of isolated patches of grass, scattered here and there, that in practice will serve as low lying depressions to trap the surface water runoff. To visualize the loss that our community and vicinity are about to face let us consider that Disney’s Magic Kingdom theme park, in Orlando, covers an area of 107 acres and this redeveloper wants to pour a massive amount of concrete over an area of irreplaceable natural resources of size comparable to one and a half times the Magic Kingdom. Moreover, The Woodlands’ thriving open green space is 21 acres short of being the size of Epcot theme park, whose total area is 300 acres. The World Showcase is 75 acres, Epcot’s Lagoon is 40 acres, the Future World is 71 acres and includes about 114 acres of parking lot space. Epcot’s 300 acres are equal to 227 football fields plus 5 and a half tennis courts. The Woodlands open green space is equivalent to 211 football fields plus 7 and a half tennis courts. A fact shared on the Internet, as fascinating, is that it took 54 million cubic feet of soil excavation to construct Epcot. That is 404 million gallons of dirt! Although, this park does not have a network of underground tunnels as the Magic Kingdom does. Instead, the “Cast” moves through backstage roads that run around the perimeter of the park. I’d like to conclude this note by calculating the loss of green space per each family that today lives in The Woodlands, so let us do some more math: 279 acres / 890 families = 0.3135 acres of open green space per family (five tennis courts per family) 90 acres / (890 + 398) families = 0.0698 acres per family (one tennis court per family) Therefore, in addition to all the toxic chemicals to be released to the air by excavating hundreds of millions gallons of dirt that buries the residues of half a century of pesticides and fertilizers usage, each family loses 80% of the physical and mental health boosting resources available to them today. Each grassland area of the size of a tennis court absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and releases enough oxygen for four people to breathe. Each tree over 10 years old removes 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year and releases enough oxygen to keep two people alive. To offset the carbon dioxide that will be emanated by the additional 800 cars locally, just by ingressing and egressing through The Woodlands' streets, we will need 6 thousand long-lived trees! Sadly most of the ones we already have will be killed to make space for rows of cookie-cutter housing, and the remaining open green space to sustain the breathing needs of each family will be five times smaller. Remember that together we can save The Woodlands.

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