Letter: Geneva needs to save trees, not add more warehouses


To the Editor:

They say money doesn’t grow on trees, but according to Midwest Industrial Funds, perhaps money grows underneath them?

I am writing this heartbroken and distressed over Midwest Industrial Funds, a “vertically integrated national real estate investment company” that preys on natural resources in the Midwest to pave paradise and put up parking lots (and warehouses) – now coming for Geneva Township.

Midwest Industrial Funds plans to bulldoze five acres of historic 300+ year old oak trees in the Big Woods of Geneva Township to develop warehouses that have no meaningful benefits to the community (but plenty of benefits for wealthy investors). Their goal is to quickly destroy these trees to avoid their brand name being in the news. They wager that if these legacy trees disappear overnight, there will be nothing to protest.

In addition to immense environmental damage that will impact this region for centuries to come, an archaeologist who surveyed the land also believes there are indigenous artifacts from the Potawatami people located here that would be destroyed if Midwest Industrial Funds has its way.

With 211 acres to work with, the appalling truth is Midwest Industrial Funds doesn’t need to bulldoze trees to complete their warehouse project. While their mission states, “We aim to continue our proven track record of delivering superior risk-adjusted returns to our investors,” the risks they are adjusting for certainly don’t contemplate the risks to the community in terms of air quality, water quality, climate and rapidly diminishing green space.

How do I explain to my 5-year-old that warehouses are better for the community than 300+ year old trees? Even if they plant new trees to “offset” what is bulldozed, it takes decades to see a modicum of environmental benefits from newly planted trees on par with the long-term devastation and damage to the state of Illinois and its ecology.

I’m writing this letter to publicly state that Midwest Industrial Funds, we see you. We are watching. Our kids are watching.

You could be the hero or the villain of this story. Which side are you on?

Think of the headlines: ”Midwest Industrial Funds saves 300+ year old trees, showing its commitment to sustainability, indigenous heritage and green spaces in our community” or “Midwest Industrial Funds destroys the environment in pursuit of profits over people and the planet.”

Your move, MIF.

Rachael Kay Albers