I Only Work Here

That’s a quote from a man working at the site of a future Beaverton hotel/restaurant combo. But more important than a place for people to stay, considering twenty or thirty 50+ mature trees were sawed down to make room for it, is the future driveway and car parking lot the worker told me would be there instead of the trees (click the top left photo below to see the site).

“Do these trees bring us joy?” I imagine the developers upending this land asking. Should we celebrate and feature them, build our restaurant and hotel grounds around them? No! they must have said, no! Only more cars & driveways bring us joy. Mwahahahaaaa! Who cares about the climate kids, we’ve got moola to make!

Just like the 80s, which is approximately when these trees were planted, judging by the number of rings. That makes these trees Millennials. Imagine an entire generation with decades of life left being cut short for lack of planning.

But all I could do was guess The Hotel Developers’ thought process, as I surveyed the stumps and sawdust scattered like entrails. Hard to ask the owners; their company is headquartered in North Dakota. Just a little out of the Beaverton, Oregon area code.

What’s that though? “Entrails” took you out of the post? Yeah, trees don’t have guts; strike entrails. Maybe it’s just these developers haven’t yet studied the importance of trees in our changing climate. Maybe that should be the city or county or state’s job: make sure developers read that climate-related stuff before they do what’s irreversible. Then they’d know better; we all would. And when we know better, we can do better. Like last November’s Black Friday climate reports tell us we better do.

Maybe we all have a job to do: tell cities they need to “change the code. ASAP


I’d called the employee over to ask about the fence, that was blocking the walkway.

“Go talk to that guy in the white truck. I only work here, you know.”

“I know,” I said. “I know.”

The next day, they’d moved the fence & unblocked the walkway for the time being. So at least there’s that.

UPDATE, April 29th 2019

The fence is back up. And here’s another Strongtowns article that might be helpful: Parking is important and Not Important. From that article: “requiring off-street parking is counter-productive for virtually every city’s goals. Period. It’s a statement of values that says: “Parking for cars is more important than housing for humans, the economic success of our city, public space, access to economic opportunity for all or climate change.”


Content © Naomi Fast