Paving paradise

Defenders of the simple life in east Plano fight an uphill battle against a developer's bulldozers

Inside the Shiloh Crossing file at the city's planning and zoning office is a letter by four Dooley fourth-graders. The letter was initiated by Ana Gessel, Robert Gessel's 9-year-old daughter. He insists she came up with the idea on her own. "She heard my wife and me talking, but bless her little environmentalist heart, she took this on with her friends," Gessel says.

The letter reads:
Dear Mayor Longstreet and City Council Members:
Our school wants to save the forest next to George Bush Freeway and U.S. 75. We need trees to help us live and to have animal habitats. Animals are very important. They are like part of our life.

If you let them build the Albertson [sic] there, you will probably have to tear it down sooner or later. If you build this Albertson we will not shop there at all.

It will take around 100 years to regrow the forest. Every car takes ten trees to take the pollution out of the air. This concludes our letter about saving the trees.

Ana Gessel, Janelle Breeding, Emily Marshall, and Kelly Morris

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