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Letters to the Editor

received a copy of the following letter addressed to President Charles M. Vest, Physical Plant Director Victoria V. Sirianni, and Grounds Service Manager Robert W. Hagerty:

I saw something very sad here at MIT on the way into my office this morning. Several large, beautiful trees in back of Building 66 had been reduced to piles of broken limbs and sawed fragments, leaving behind gaping holes in the ground. The trees had just finished their spring flowering and had been covered in new green leaves. As I saw one lying there on the ground, being cut into increasingly smaller pieces with a chainsaw, I wondered if the people who made the decision to remove the trees had ever sat in their shade during a summer lunch time; had noticed their autumn colors; had delighted in their springtime blossoms? If they didn't, too bad. It's too late now - the trees are gone forever.

During my undergraduate years at MIT, one reason why I survived in this urban campus was the effort put in by Physical Plant to maintain the open spaces with grassy areas, flowers, trees, and other live places. These same spaces still reassure me on days when my research work here gets so hectic I begin to lose touch with reality. For me, the green areas, flowers, and trees around the MIT campus are as much a part of MIT as the domes, and the sculptures, and the names carved in stone around the Great Court. Now today, one of those green spaces is gone.

All I hope is that the reason for the destruction of those trees - and the ultimate destiny of the formerly lush green area - isn't described by the following song lyrics: ``They paved paradise, and put up a parking lot ... .''

Heidi B. Hammel '82