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Look past falling timber; focus on the positive

The cottonwood tree cut down at Syringa Hospital last week was filled with rotting debris in the center, as seen here.

Contributed photo / Bill Spencer
The cottonwood tree cut down at Syringa Hospital last week was filled with rotting debris in the center, as seen here.

We’ve all heard that change is good. At least we can agree it’s inevitable, right?

Last week’s cutting down of two trees at Syringa Hospital to make way for a new entrance was hard for some to take. Facebook pictures and comments were rampant. While most people were sad to see the trees – one maple and one cottonwood — go, others were downright angry with the hospital for making the decision to remove the trees. Still others were shocked.

You have every right to be sad over the loss of trees. As far as angry – well, it doesn’t really make much sense when you look at the facts and the intentions. And shocked? Well, the Free Press has reported on the tree removal a number of times, so there’s not going to be much sympathy from this end.

The truth is, a cottonwood tree probably should have never been planted in close proximity to a hospital (some would argue they should never be planted anywhere). Cottonwood trees have high pollination rates and we have all seen and breathed the fluff flying around from the tree. Moreover, the cottonwood tree was rotting and diseased. No, this is not a cover-up statement made up to make patrons not question the removal of the trees. Safety issues have been in question for some time.

When the inside of the cottonwood tree was cut, it was hollowed with crumbling debris and weakening with cracks, as well. These are facts.

Several years back a group of trees were removed from Lions Park. No one seemed to blink an eye. Maybe those trees weren’t as visible or perhaps there was a good reason circulating for their removal.

The hospital’s renovation plans have been met with many questions from the community. Rightly so. The hospital’s taxing district and the people it serves should have a say in how their care facility operates.

And yet, in the grand scheme of things, we all need to remember something: It’s two trees. Trees that will make way for a visually attractive, convenient and, more importantly, safe entrance for the public.

Change forces us out of our comfort zones. It allows us to move forward and not remain stagnant, becoming flexible and adapting along the way. Change forces growth and allows for new opportunities.

Consider the upcoming renovation of Syringa Hospital an adventure that will permit the hospital to remain competitive and attract not only new patients but also doctors and specialists.

Cornell graduate Kenneth H. Blanchard said, “Everyone knows that not all change is good or even necessary. But in a world that is constantly changing, it is to our advantage to learn how to adapt and enjoy something better.”

In the upcoming years we’re going to see some changes with which we may not agree. It’s up to each of us to focus on the positive and move forward. Straight ahead.


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