Burlington, Vt. - Come the 20th of February, the design & review board for Burlington will vote on the latest design of City Hall Park. A group of concerned citizens with 'Keep the Park Green' believe, the amount of trees on the chopping block is too high.
"The new park design does not incorporate our existing trees," said Monique Fordham with 'Keep the Park Green'. A coalition of twenty five active members that want to preserve Burlington's historic City Hall Park.
In a world where everyone is on the go, Fordham describes the current park as a place to regain solitude.
"We don't want to see more than thirty mature trees, of many spices, and variety treated like disposable props," said Fordham.
While attending public meetings, Fordham says they were left in the dark when it came to how many trees were being removed.
"Despite asking how many trees would be destroyed, we were never given a straight answer. Until now," said Fordham.
Currently 56 trees call City Hall Park home. In the latest design, 34 trees will be removed. Of the 34, eight are not appropriate for the setting, three are in poor health, seven are damaged, one is too close to the Main Street sidewalk, and the final 15 would be removed for the park's new design.
"The park's design review board is going to be voting on this plan on February 20th. That could seal the fate over half the trees in this park," said Fordham.
If passed, only 22 of the original trees would provide shade at Burlington's City Hall Park. The plan does call for 12 new saplings to be planted, bring the total of trees to 34.
"Parks age, and how a community uses a park changes over time," expressed Cindi Wight. Newly appointed, Wight comes to the Queen City with 16 years of experience from the City of Rutland Parks and Recreation Department.
"They're a number of trees being taken out of the park. Some may say, they are for artistic design. For some, it's for the fact we want to have really good healthy grass, and we want our trees to be really healthy," said Wight.
Wight is excited to be living and working in a community that cares for every square foot. She also has this message for those at 'Keep the Park Green'.
"Thank you for being passionate, there has been a process that the community has gone through to get here," said Wight.
Wight is ready to sit down, and talk with anyone with any concerns. Today, and into the future.
Though on Monday, Monique Fordham is still unsettled with the potential outcome of the vote on the 20th.
"I think we are really most concerned about the fact that this is going to destroy the essential character of the park," said Fordham.
Those who would like to speak with the coalition of citizens with 'Keep the Park Green' you can find them on Facebook.
You can also give input on the tree removal to your city councilors, or contact:
- The Office of Planning and Zoning at 802-865-7188.
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