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May 18, 2007

Lee’s Summit losing trees

My family has lived in Lee’s Summit for almost nine years, and I have always loved Lee’s Summit’s natural beauty. You can imagine my dismay when developers cut down the trees at the site of the future Summit Fair mall.

I had been watching the construction work for some time, but I did not know that they were going to destroy the beautiful trees I have enjoyed seeing since elementary school.

I would pass this area every day on the way to school and loved watching the animals living there. I now dread going past it because the sight is so depressing.

Shouldn’t there be a plan to preserve the few green spaces left in Lee’s Summit?

Elizabeth Wheelock (14)
Lee’s Summit

This letter is a warning to any tree lovers who are considering moving to Lees Summit: Don’t.

Mayor Karen Messerli and company are on a crusade to develop every green spot in Lees Summit, no matter how big or small.

It looks as if the last grove trees will be mowed down to make room for the privileged children of Lee’s Summit can have their Legoland.

It seems that a city that is so concerned about having a family-friendly environment would think about the kind of message that it is sending to its children.

Instead of teaching them new ways to spend their parents’ money, would it not be better for them to learn how to appreciate the beauty of the land before it is developed for profit?

Mary Montgomery
Lee’s Summit



Take a look around how many cities, and Lees Summit is a city where you care to admit it or not, can claim they have as many 1000+ acre green spaces within their city limits or bordering it as Lees Summit, not counting the smaller parks, which their are many. There is the largest urban park in the country, Flemming park bordering fully 1/3 the length of the city, we have Legacy Park at just over 1000 acres, the little guy in this list and lets not forget, the state, you have to include James A. Reed wildlife refuge, I don't know the number but its about twice the size of Legacy Park. Any where else in the country a 1000 acre park would be considered huge but not in Lees Summit. How can you say they are developing every green spot in town. Time for a reality check people.


I remember when the now defunct Western Electric plant was a dairy farm. I remember when the new plant brought a lot of decent jobs to town ... until it didn't anymore and just sat there empty instead.

I remember when the Summit Woods Crossing Shopping Center was pasture and supported Belgian draft horses and cows. I remember a pond halfway down the hill with an old tiled roof pump house ... now somewhere under the parking lot in front of Dick's Sporting Goods. I remember if you dropped the large round bale carelessly it would roll all the way down the hill, through the brush on the pond bank and into the water.

I remember the rural neighborhood along Chipman/Pryor Road and the acreage the Lowenstein brothers left to the city for a park ... until most of it was sold out and developed into beige colored suburban homes for nice families like the Wheelocks and Montgomerys.

There should've been a plan in 1970 to preserve the few green spaces left in Lee’s Summit, before the Wheelocks and Montgomerys moved to town. But Mayor Bill McKee and company were on a crusade to develop every green spot in Lees Summit, no matter how big or small.

Deja vu all over again.

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