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Natural History - Save our Trees


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NAL APPEAL: SAVE OUR TREES, CUT VANDALISM

Dr. Wilson's Appeal...

Contrary to what many of us thought when we first came to these corn fields, there is a real potential for beauty here. We need to conserve and use every tree, every bush, every patch of grass, and every body of water that we have.

I feel strongly about this and, believe me, anyone who thoughtlessly damages any of the natural attributes of our site is going to have a hard time with me.

If we do preserve what we have, and add to it, and create with imagination, then the site can become a joy to behold-a source of pride for all of us. I would like to hear more suggestions about how we can beautify our land.

Robert Rathbun Wilson

Linac's Glenn Lee surveys walnut trees cut down without need or authorization
Linac's Glenn Lee surveys walnut trees cut down without need or authorization

Efforts to reduce vandalism and to preserve the natural beauty and natural resources of the National Accelerator Laboratory site have been reviewed by NAL officials.

Their actions have included an appeal to employees, contractors, visitors and others to be routinely conscious of the continuing need for a pro-conservationist awareness of the desire to make the Laboratory area one of the most attractive research and development centers in the world.

In addition, employees also have been asked to be alert to the Laboratory's desire to minimize vandalism on the 6,800-acre site in DuPage and Kane counties. Several incidents involving natural resources and buildings on the acreage have been reported in recent weeks.

Policy Statement

It was noted that several months ago a policy statement on natural resource utilization at NAL was issued. The statement said, in part:

"The National Accelerator Laboratory is pursuing a firm conservationist path in all of its relationships with nature and natural resources. Considerable study effort has been spent in developing a national resources utilization plan that will satisfy the operation requirements at the Laboratory and will adhere to depletion and pollution standards considerably more stringent than current laws stipulate."

The statement went on to say: "Nature may be bountiful, but it is not unlimited. The costs of conservation must be accepted as a new increase in the normal costs of doing business."

The text of NAL Director Robert R. Wilson's view of the urgent need for preservation and creation of natural beauty on the laboratory site is published above.

Permanent Patrol

Donald K. Poillon, NAL's Business Manager, reported that several steps have been taken to minimize vandalism on the site, which was turned over by the State of Illinois to the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission last April 10.

A continuing, permanent patrol by NAL-supervised guards is being made of vacated farms as well as of the NAL construction site and the NAL Village. Barricades have been erected to limit entry to the NAL Village during off-hours. Most of the roads entering the NAL site eventually will be closed in non-work periods. In addition, Poillon said, the DuPage and Kane County sheriffs' police forces patrol the NAL site.

Poillon especially noted two recent incidents:

1. An out-of-state contractor was discovered by Glenn Lee, of the Linac group's engineering staff, in the act of transporting walnut trees that had been cut down in the forested area just northeast of where the Linac enclosure is under construction. About 19 sections, each 10 feet long, of walnut, which is now quite valuable wood, were involved. James Sullivan, of the Contract Administration staff, assisted in identifying the men involved in the vandalism. Because the trees on the site, like the buildings and equipment, are United States Government property, the Laboratory informed the Federal Bureau of Investigation about the incident and an investigation is underway. This incident occurred on March 23, 1969.

2. A house-moving contractor's workmen cut off three limbs from a stately box elder tree so that they could more freely move a house down Feldott Road, on the NAL site. The tree is still standing, but its major limbs have been sawn off and its natural beauty has been totally destroyed, says Ivan Alten, chief planner for DUSAF's architectural staff. This incident occurred during mid-May, 1969.

"It especially is unfortunate that this box elder became the victim of unqualified tree surgeons," said Alten. He explained that the tree had been included in the DUSAF master plan for the NAL site because it was such a natural landmark. For example, plans had been developed to locate an employee cafeteria across Feldott Road from the tree just because the tree was a beautiful and significant landmark, Alten said.

More tree damage
More tree damage

Members of the NAL and DUAF staffs have been marking trees on the NAL site with printed notices to contractors and others that the trees are not to be disturbed without the permission of the NAL management. John Barry, of the NAL Director's Office, has been in charge of this effort.

Also, the first floors of all of the farm homes that have been vacated on the NAL site have been boarded up to prevent prowlers from vandalizing them on weekends and at night. A number of the farm homes represent aspects of significant history in the Fox River Valley. It has been estimated that several are about 100 years old.

"We want to preserve some of these places," explained Donald R. Getz, assistant director of NAL, "so that in the progress of developing the accelerator we do not erase all of the history that has gone before us."

"Our staff has been working diligently to provide an attractive setting for the Laboratory," said Poillon. "I am pleased to report that we have already completed much of the work aimed at making life in our village more pleasant, and we are working hard on the continuing job of improvements in the village. Our maintenance staff has been instructed about the need for a constant effort to keep up the appearance of temporary home until our permanent research and office center is completed."

Edwin L. Goldwasser, Deputy Director of NAL, also commented on the need for concern about the Laboratory's environment. He said:

"We believe that a research laboratory should not look like a military barracks. Nor should it look like a factory. We feel that both the site and the buildings should reflect something of the spirit of the work that is to be carried on there. This will be important not only to the staff of the Laboratory, but also to our visitors and to potential employees."

A positive indication of the Laboratory's conservation program was the planting on Arbor Day of nearly 100 trees by NAL staff members - men and women, scientists and office clerks - near the cafeteria in the NAL Village. By next spring, it is expected that the trees will have grown considerably and offer a shaded park for employees to sit during lunch hours.

Source: The Village Crier Vol. 1 No. 3, June, 1969