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Lynne Cherry's BLOG

I am going to try to update this blog once a week. I will be linking to short videos of my travels around the world doing research and speaking.

I will also be responding to the letters I receive through my publishers.

Recently I have been visiting many different places throughout Florida because my most recent book is about mangroves and the only place that mangroves grow in the United States is in South Florida. I knew that there had been laws passed to protect mangroves but I didn't know that it was so easy to find ways to get around these laws. County commissioners can issue variances that allow developers to bulldoze mangroves.

So, I wanted to share a story with you about how, in my community in Maryland, we got our county commissioners to work to protect our open space.

In Maryland, laws existed to protect the farmland but individual county commissioners rarely denied a developer a variance that would, in essence, negate the law and allow them to build on our irreplaceable farmland.
Then a group of concerned citizens founded Friends of Frederick County and Frederick Regional Action Network. They were just ordinary citizens who were concerned with unbridled sprawl development and they convinced people to run for office--both Democratic and Republicans-- who agreed to reject developer campaign contributions. Before the election, volunteers hit the streets, hanging door hangers and speaking to their neighbors about quality of life and how development was gobbling up every last piece of open space. Four out of five of these candidates won with the mandate to preserve our open space and historic landscapes, our farmland and aquifer recharge areas. And the candidates we elected will uphold the laws that were put in place to protect our drinking water.

So, you can do this in your communities. Start attending town meetings and meetings of your planning and zoning commission. Find candidates to run who really care about preserving the unique character of where you live. And support those candidates who deserve your support. You can make a difference!