This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.
The irony is subtle, but it’s there.
Across the road from where walkers, runners and bike riders access the starting point of Pierce County’s wonderful Foothills Trail is the Van Lierop Bulb Farm store. A sign announces it is going out of business.
The trail is a triumph of preservation, of local citizens working for years to take back an abandoned railroad right of way and turn it into a recreational opportunity regularly used by thousands to get closer to nature.
The bulb farm is going in the other direction – from a 70-year history of growing acres of tulips and the Puyallup Valley’s signature bloom, the daffodil, to a future that will bring yet more development to an area once defined by its flower fields.
No one begrudges 75-year-old Neil Van Lierop and wife, Lore, their much-deserved retirement, one that will be eased by being able to sell acreage at higher prices made possible by recent annexation to the City of Puyallup. The couple had been scaling back in recent years anyway, from 100 acres of flowers to just 6. May 31 will be the official closing for the farm and gift shop. Read more »