Good News for Nature

Easthampton, Massachusetts is expected to pass a fee on vacant commercial buildings in the coming weeks. Easthampton borders Holyoke. Brattleboro will likely pass a fee on vacant commercial buildings within a few months, town manager Yoshi Manale told the Valley Post.

The Brattleboro Home Depot and its vast parking lot have been vacant for 14 years. In 2019 Home Depot spokeswoman Margaret Watters Smith told the Valley Post her company would like to find someone to rent the building and parking lot. Years before that, another Home Depot spokeswoman told the Valley Post the same thing.

In Brattleboro, Peeble's big box store and Friendly's corporate chain restaurant are also empty.

In Mashpee, Massachusetts a vacant big box store and its parking lot were converted to a neighborhood that looks like downtown Northampton, with wide sidewalks, parks, small stores downstairs, and apartments upstairs. In Texas, a vacant big box store was turned into a library. In Detroit in recent years, thousands of vacant buildings were turned back into farmland, parks, and forestland.

Planting trees and letting them grow to old age is one of the best ways to stop climate change, which the world's leading scientists say is a major threat to earth's ability to support human life.

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