Dispute over plan to cut down 82 trees in Lindenwood Park
"It's not just the trees its also the inhabitants, it's also the margins that's going to be in and around those new and exposed trees."
FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) – People are speaking out against an improvement project at Lindenwood Park.
“It’s a road improvement project so what it entails is essentially creating a new road loop for Roger Maris Drive,” Fargo Parks District Parks Director Dave Bietz said.
The loop is in major need of improvements says Bietz.
“The existing road as it is right now today is at a lower flood elevation and is made out of asphalt, so it’s in need of some repairs. We decided to move the road up to a higher flood elevation and make it out of concrete. It is just too close to the river and it is constantly inundated with flood waters, ” said Bietz.
Local activists say they are against the project for many reasons.
“It’s a big project. It’s $1.5 million in their budget. I just feel like that money can be allocated better elsewhere where we don’t need an additional road.” There’s countless animals living in those spaces if you take away that space where are they going to go,” Lindenwood Park activist Andrew Blackbird said.
“It’s up to 82 trees that’s he maximum number that are in danger, but it’s not just the trees its also the inhabitants, it’s also the margins that’s going to be in and around those new and exposed trees,” Lindenwood Park activist, Mark Taggart said.
In order to provide some reassurance, Bietz says there is a plan.
“There’s 82 trees that right now we’ve identified and there won’t be more than 82 trees as it stands right now today we’ve identified nine that we are going to replant,” said Bietz.
Blackbird says even if the project allows for replanting it won’t be enough.
“In order to make up the difference for that one big tree they’re taking out they’d have to plant at least 75 to 100 saplings to even make a dent in that,” Blackbird said.
Activists are asking the public for help in speaking out against the project.
“Talk to you board members. The Fargo Parks Board is the one who’s making this call here. The more people that contact them the better, it shows the support there’s power in numbers,” said Blackbird.
Bietz says the project could begin as early as May and be completed by the end of October.