In response to the letter, "New policies eating away at Columbia's open space" (July 5): Open space to me means open access, not necessarily mowed turf. I appreciate the recent efforts of the Columbia Association, BGE, and others to reduce unnecessary mowing. Mowing is expensive in terms of labor, equipment, gas, and especially in terms of damage to the environment.
My yard backs up to a CA pond, and for the past couple of years CA has been leaving an unmowed buffer between the path and a willow tree at the waters edge. The root ball of the willow tree had previously been eroded and compressed by foot traffic. I believe the unmowed buffer is reducing foot traffic on the tree, and is responsible for the tree's renewed vigor.