How do you put a value on Tree Vandalism?
There was alot of uproar recently regarding local vandalised trees in public areas (see the full story here), planted by Council to allow for enjoyment by the tax-paying public plus to benefit the local natural environs for our future.
The response came from two primary concerned parties – those who were devestated about the loss and immediate impact it had on them and their community, and those who felt that the response from the law was too ‘OTT’.
Hypothetically, let’s suppose that each tree destroyed have a $ value of a $1,000. It may sound like a lot of money however consider that from seed to the present day, a significant amount of hours have been invested into maintaining those trees, which are of course important for our environment and our community and the research continually shows that accessible (ie free) healthy, outdoor environments equals healthy, connected communities.
So consider that over several years the trees have been planted and maintained by a ‘grower’ (eg Wollongong City Council), who has paid money to employees to ensure the subject trees are taken care of to ‘give back’ to its community to enjoy – and rightly so.
Aside from taxpayers’ money being spent on maintaining the trees via the council, locals – who also pay tax – have also spent time nurturning and maintaining the trees in their own time.
Now, unfortunately, those same trees will have to be removed and replaced and the costly process starts all over again – with some time before the community can even enjoy the shady beauties.
Imagine the same individual who damaged these trees caused significant damage to the tax-payer funded ‘free bus’, or any other service that benefits our community. It would be easier to add up the actual dollar value of the vandalism and equate it to a ‘sentence’.
So while it’s hard to put a dollar value on a tree, it’s important we remember to respect their total worth value.
Check out Bohmer’s response to other Tree Vandalism incidents, plus the price people have to pay if caught on Bohmer’s Blog and in his regular column for 25magazines.