My first letter to the editor in my life was published last month in the Payson Roundup recounting the beauty and blessing of living in our community. This, my second letter, is written in outrage at corporate greed.
On Thursday, I drove to Bank of America to see the beautiful trees on the grounds being humiliated. I was told that the corporate office "wanted them pruned so you could see the building" even though they have a nice, lighted sign that is quite visible from the street. These trees are beautiful in the spring, gorgeous yellow, red and orange in the fall, and their huge branches are perfect in the winter.
The landscape company hired was from the Valley and did not know the difference between a Palo Verde, a Red Bud or a Sweet Gum. They were under orders and worked until their devastation was complete. The sad thing is no one would or could stop them.
The trees and grass at both Bank of America and Bank One were a part of our town's character, just as much as the huge Ponderosa pines scattered about our community, or our community's shared interest and history in the Oxbow Saloon or the Zane Grey Cabin -- a cabin so important to our character that a group of citizens has spent great amounts of time, energy and money to replicate this historical place in our Green Valley Park.
These corporations take a lot of money from our community and have a responsibility and obligation as "corporate citizens of Payson" to maintain that character and prevent its destruction.
It is true that both banks have been assaulted about water use and both lawns had been removed. Bank One saw fit to install only rock -- not one plant. This is not xeriscaping. It is, instead, a perfect example of a lack of corporate conscience for what would make our community better. Bank of America used small plants that will take a long time to look like anything.
Visitors to our community come expecting to see a "mountain town," not a "gravel pit," which we are fast becoming. What is our water department's vision or plan for our community? It is apparent that decomposed granite and rock without any vegetation is part of the vision along with the press for water conservation. This is not the vision the new design guidelines envisioned for the commercial corridors.
Santa Fe has always had a water problem and yet it is a thriving and beautifully landscaped community because the leadership had a vision and they set priorities that led to xeriscaping to beautify with the water available.
There is no need for the town's "approved plant list" if commercial entities are allowed to put in only rock.
Jeanie Langham, Payson