Capitalism cuts another tree


Madison Mellon

Newly cut trees at the Wawa building site on Jan. 5.

Madison Mellon, Staff writer

Trees are being cut to make way for the 11th Wawa on General Booth Blvd in Virginia Beach. The ground has been broken and the trees have been demolished. Anyone can clearly see the ruinous destruction by a simple drive down the boulevard.
By passing by the new construction site there are piles upon piles of healthy trees cut up and being taken away. The community of trees, plants, animals such as; squirrels, foxes, deer, insects, fungi and lichen all work together to increase everyone’s chance of survival. Furthermore, the operation of heavy equipment in the woods compacts the soil and harms the habitat of dirt-dwelling organisms.
“Now you have taken all of those homes from these animals and now they just have nowhere to go,” said Earth science, geology, and oceanography teacher Laura Eldredge.
With these habitats gone they will be forced to migrate somewhere else and build a new home. If the animals cannot manage to find a new home they will succumb to natural selection and die. However, this isn’t even natural selection anymore because humans caused it.
“I think it was just devastating that they just took down all of those trees, Virginia Beach is one of these places that if there is a spot that has trees that they’re going to cut them down to build something,” said Eldredge.
Instead of building on land already free of trees, they bought the plot right next to the KOA Holiday campground and cut all the trees to begin the build. Without these trees, the campground will be alongside the Wawa and not as secluded from the road as many campers enjoyed.
Trees and plants produce oxygen and absorb greenhouse gases which help reverse global warming, which is a serious problem our Earth currently suffers from. Therefore, cutting more trees only makes our battle to reverse climate change much harder. The discard of trees also causes soil erosion, flooding, loss of habitats, and increased water in the air which completely dries out the soil.
Virginia Beach has ten total locations already and does not need more. While the new Wawa may benefit some tourists or locals with easier access to gas and other amenities, the destruction and devastation it will bring is not worth those material amenities. Instead of more big businesses being built with blatant disrespect for nature, we need to realize the damage being done, not support the build of them and begin to take care of our Earth.
“I just think it was a huge devastation to the environment just to rip it all down. I was very upset to see that, I don’t understand why they don’t put the Wawa in one of the many open lands, you don’t have to knock down a tree,” said Eldredge.