Mourning for the loss of trees and wildlife

January 24, 2023

Over 100 acres of forest behind my property is in the process of being destroyed to make way for the latest new housing development on Robinsonville Road in Lewes. Every cut of the blade and crash of a falling tree is like a knife through my heart.  

The wildlife are running for their lives. Animals that would occasionally venture out of the woods and visit our yard and neighborhood – the gray and red foxes, wild turkeys and deer, to name just a few – are now appearing every day, looking confused and bewildered. My heart cries out for them, and I pray every day that they are not suffering, and have found a way to escape the destruction and find refuge somewhere else. But I fear there is no place else for them to go, and they will perish. Without them, our quality of life will suffer as well.

I don’t know who will read this letter and if it will make a difference. Those of us who have been crying out to stop the overdevelopment in Sussex County are probably starting to sound like a broken record. But I’m hoping that at least some people will sympathize and will support those of us determined to save what’s left of our natural environment.

I realize the developers, in part, are responding to the housing crisis that is occurring throughout the U.S. But elsewhere in Delaware and other states, there are communities and land-use planners, as well as responsible developers, who are responding to that need while preserving the natural environment at the same time. It can be done. The power to do this lies with our county council and the developers shaping our community. The county code must be amended immediately to prevent further destruction of the woods and wildlife. We all must work together to be stewards for the environment and protect our fellow beings. Not tomorrow or next year, but now.  

In the meantime, I stand vigil for the trees behind my home as they continue to fall and I mourn their loss and the loss of the wildlife that they sustain.

Susan Petze-Rosenblum
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