There has been so much talk recently about scarcity of water and all the problems that entails. I am currently overwhelmed with the many mistakes that I have made in my own "gardening" practices since I have lived here, all as a result of just not knowing any better.
I have come to the strong conclusion that we must think ever-increasingly toward planting only native (indigenous) plants/shrubs/trees from this point on.
I love my little town of Payson just as much as everyone else does. I just hope it can continue to thrive with all the beauty that's possible in this area.
It's my understanding that our sewer system in town is now designed to reclaim and create more water (effluent), which is all to the good.
I have a few suggestions about how this idea could be accomplished. Obviously, we must remedy our mistakes from the past with reasonable plans for the future.
There should be ordinances or rules that would require replacing non-native trees that are dead or dying with only native trees.
Hopefully, someone on a newspaper staff with an interest in this subject could write articles helping Payson citizens to understand, in a simple manner, what sorts of gardening/landscaping practices are healthy for this particular environment.
We need to encourage and allow nurseries to have adequate supplies of all native plants and trees for sale. Possibly we could have some sort of reward system for purchasing and placing native plants and trees in private yards or in new landscaping of any kind.
The issue of more building of homes and developments in any area that is already overtaxed by water use is of great concern to me, also. This must be already being examined and hopefully dealt with by out Town Council. I, along with many of my neighbors and concerned citizens in Payson, am closely watching the outcome.
For years, I volunteered for the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce. We advertised Rim Country as the land of the tall, cool pines. What people love about Payson are the beautiful mountains and big wild trees. Let's keep Payson beautiful by taking care of our native trees.
Nobody wants Payson to be called "the town of tall, dead pines." Planting native trees instead of others will be a huge water savings, too.
Carol J. Buchheit, Payson
Editor's note: This letter was shortened to fit within the 400-word limit for letters to the editor.