Letter: Location won’t work
Dennis Wade suggests in his letter to the editor published on June 18 that the Meadows golf course in Greenfield be turned into a botanical garden. That is a lovely and creative idea, save for the fact that this location is a floodplain for the Deerfield River. Restaurant patrons may be enthusiastic about this idea, but I’m pretty sure that botanists and river experts would not be so supportive. Building a concrete barrier along the river bank would indeed separate the river from its floodplain. When a river can’t overflow its banks and dissipate the power of its increased volume, it gains more velocity and more power, downcutting its bed deeper and deeper. This results in erosion at that location, destabilizing the banks and creating a large load of sediments carried downstream. This in turn creates more destructive flooding downstream and deposition of those sediments where the currents slows down, creating mudflats and unstable river bottoms. I agree that a botanical garden like the one in Boothbay is a fantastic attraction, but it can’t be located where it would cause damage to a river and the downstream area.
associate director of the Massachusetts Water Resources Research Center at UMass Amherst