LETTER: Mead Point Development Will Destroy Intact Ecosystem

Submitted by Myra Klockenbrink, who writes as a resident of Greenwich

It turns a heart to lead to learn about the proposed “development” of Mead Point. This unique and environmentally sensitive 8-acre coastal forest and tidal wetlands would be effectively destroyed as an intact ecosystem — all for the privilege of a 15,000 sq. ft. single-family house, an underground 14-vehicle auto court and a pool pavilion and spa. To not seek the protection for this remnant of pristine Greenwich coastline and accept this loss as the “Natural Order of Things” is to bear witness to an execution.

This is perhaps not a popular view, but we have to speak up for the wind through the trees, the myriad animals that live there, the delicate balance this whole ecosystem maintains in the face of multiple threats. Most of us don’t have access to Mead Point, but to watch the video of the property profile is to at once recognize it as part of the beautiful canopied coast that we all love. Nothing personal to Messrs. Mead Point LLC, and not to diminish the removal of invasive plants and the planting of native shrubs, but this is in no way a replacement for a minimum of 175 mature trees and the ecosystem services they have provided for likely hundreds of years.

Do we really have to take every last inch of the wild and free landscape and reshape it into our own vision of order and control? People say, well, it’s private property and owners can do what they like. What about the ecosystem itself? Have trees no rights? Tidal marshes no standing? Does a dollar have more value than an oak tree? Hasn’t enough of our landscape already been destroyed? Aren’t the near-daily natural catastrophes rolling across our country not enough to make us pause to reconsider our priorities?

That Greenwich has no recourse but to yield to wealth like this is a terrible commentary. For a Town not to have a municipal plan and funding to preserve its own patrimony for the future of the land and people says volumes about how undeserving we are of its riches. Or that a more visionary plan wasn’t put forward that had the community and a conservation ethos in mind is shortsighted and tragic. We can do better.

Surely the great wealth housed in this Town could be marshaled to answer this challenge. This “property” could be cleaned of its invasive plants, protected from deer and planted with native shrubs at negligible cost. And Mead Point could become Greenwich’s answer to the environmental challenges we face — and this small knuckle of Connecticut shoreline could be free to be what it is: priceless.