Loss. It’s a big part of Minot’s story — our story — in recent years. The flood took homes and retirements and schools and lives. Yes, lives. Though the official statistics don’t count them, we all know of someone who was lost due to the exhaustion and stress of the clean-up and rebuild.
The rapid growth that followed the flood took our sense of control. Flood protection — though accepted and understood — is taking homes and neighborhoods all over again; it literally took Home Sweet Home. Our watering holes won’t be spared.
And while it’s not over yet, perhaps we’re getting better at seeing it coming? Hopefully, that’s true. Some of us are more squarely in the path of the next waves than others, and regardless of whether you see them coming, direct hits are tough.
One of the waves out there on the horizon — that’s going to hit us all in some way — the loss of our trees. Flood protection designs for the Maple Diversion are moving forward; while we don’t know when the larger construction will get going, we can be sure that preparations are in the works.
The first step towards construction — clearing the path. We lost Lincoln School; we’ve lost many of the neighborhood homes; the next to go will be the trees.
So, begin preparing yourself. In the coming seasons, we are going to lose a lot of our trees. It will be hard; the look of our community will change dramatically. When it happens, it will happen fast. One day, you’ll drive down 6th Street and they’ll be gone.
If you’re the sentimental type, this is the summer to take last walks down old streets. And whether you take those walks or not, I invite you to imagine how we might use this resource — these trees, their lumber, their symbolism — for something for our community. These trees are our trees. If we know the loss is coming, let’s be thoughtful and attempt to capture some of what we’re about to lose in some meaningful way.
So, please prepare yourself for what may be a final season of blooming for many of our majestic neighbors. And as you prepare, please share ideas for how these trees that we’re about to lose might become some part of a Minot future we can look toward with pride.