Smackdown: Tree vs. billboard

In one corner, an advertising behemoth with a state senator proclaiming, “Those billboards are important, they feed lots of families,” he testified at a hearing. “This is a tourism corridor. Tourism depends on billboards, not on trees.”

In the other corner, a Florida community and it’s beautification project. “That’s almost like someone coming in and saying you’ve got twins, and one of them is going to be sacrificed to save the other.”

Just to be clear, tourism does not depend on billboards — and in fact it may be dependent on trees in some locations. In the community corner, comparing the sacrifice of a tree to that of a baby is an equally stupid statement. However, the whole battle is a farce in my opinion. How can anyone — other than the mega-company and its lobbyists — think that billboards should win this fight?

A Florida homeowner put it best: “Trees are beautiful, billboards are ugly.”

After an appropriate public outcry, the offending company, Clear Channel Communications, backed off to a degree. Sixteen crepe myrtles had to be cut out of a median to ensure clear view of a billboard.

But they’re growing back. And the city grounds crew is letting them.

Photo from Wikipedia, of a defaced billboard.


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

One Response to Smackdown: Tree vs. billboard

  1. Pingback: TREE WATCH 2009 « BLIGHTZAP!

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