Update on TreeWatch and the Grove tree circus
I was interviewed as a member of TreeWatch today by Glenna Milberg of Channel 10 News regarding the trees they plan to remove in Coconut Grove. I guess this is a result of the Newsletter Commissioner Sarnoff circulated yesterday explaining his being in favor of the tree removals. I will likely get about a one minute soundbite, so in case it does not all come out, here is the point I was trying to make:
Of course TreeWatch is NOT "critical of doing anything that would remove these trees." We would hardly insist on keeping a tree that is a true hazard.
The trees of downtown Grove are in many different degrees of health, and our objective is to have the City pause and truly determine if a tree indeed needs to come down for reasons of hazard or convenience. For example, a Tamarind on Florida Avenue, marked for removal, was since reviewed again and determined that perhaps it is not in as bad a shape as to require removal. Yet it still has a permit for removal dangling over its canopy, so to speak, and we still have no idea if the tree will be cut or spared. We cannot appeal to, because the appeal was upheld by the HEP Board before it was determined to not be in as bad a shape. Another tree on the same block also permitted for removal was found to be in good condition by the horticulturist consulting the project, but it happens to be in the way of a desired (but totally unnecessary) valet cut out in front of a restaurant. One wonders if it was ever pointed out to the restaurateur, who is relatively new, that there is a perfectly good designated valet drop off across the street, not 12 feet away which in its day served not only the restaurant in the exact same spot,which was packed, but several others and the entire shopping complex. Now that street barely gets a car every 5 minutes. So why take the tree down? It is these little details that TreeWatch wants to bring to light, otherwise they get obfuscated during the planning stages.
Such efforts have worked well with the County. We met with them this week to review and walk 27th avenue to see each individual tree they have marked for cutting or transplanting during Phase 2 of the Improvements project. Of the 55+ trees they had designated for removal when they showed us the plan last year, now only 14 will be cut down, and that is because they are in very, very bad shape. Many will be saved and relocated, in some cases a few feet from where they stood. Recently, 2 mahoganies were spared getting cut down and are now in their new home in the green space at Seminole Boat ramp, where hopefully they can thrive.
Coconut Grove TreeWatch
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