Too Late to Save Tree in West End Park Plan?
The West End Park Master Plan has been funded, after all these years. A skateboard park and set of concrete paths will soon open. We fought to save West End Park, to keep this open space, so rare now in the West End for future generations.
But we can’t save a tree. It’s an ancient mulberry tree (two trees actually, intertwined). It dominates the landscape, beautifully dwarfs and hides the houses behind it, and feeds summer birds by the thousands.
But it’s just a “junk tree” according to our City staff. The fact that it would be easy to move one of the new paths a few feet and save this tree is irrelevant. If you did not file the right form in the right way in 2005, it’s too late to make any changes to the Master Park plan. The fact that the birds in West End Park today are sometimes so loud and numerous you can’t hear yourself think (or hear cars on Route 7) and that they are fed by this tree, is not enough reason to save it (or so I am told).
So the summer fruit and summer songs of the birds will soon be gone. We know because parks around the country have gone quiet as authorities quietly removed their “junk trees” – their habitat trees (see Chicago Tribune, 6/13/2013, “Bird-watchers fear the worst as Park District removes trees near Wooded Island”). The fact that robins, blue jays and cardinals, among so many others found today in West End Park, eat the berries and will soon be gone must just be another sign of our progress – and our march toward development.
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