Saturday, January 11, 2014
Explaining the Planned Longshore Tree Removal
About 35 persons gathered in fog and rain at Westport’s Longshore Club Park today to hear Tree Warden Bruce Lindsay (back to camera) explain why he endorsed a plan to take down 15 trees along the entranceway to the park. Lindsay had issued a report in which he said there was “a public safety concern” about the trees. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
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Many thanks to First Selectman Marpe, Parks and Rec Director Stuart McCarthy and our Tree Warden Bruce Lindsay for an informative discussion on the history of the trees in question, their current physical condition and maladies, the lengthy decision making process and rationale leading up to why they need to be removed now and the future plan for replacement.
Yes, this is an emotional decision for all. While everyone is entitled to their own opinions, Town decisions need to be made based on the facts. The Tree Warden has laid out the facts and the situation facing us very thoroughly in his detailed report and today’s session explained the decision making involved which got us to this point. I urge all Westporters to read the Tree Warden’s report http://www.westportct.gov/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=5950
The First Selectman has now done the right thing with regard to legal process, communication, listening and involving the public in this action. The process has worked as it is supposed to. While taking down the trees may not be the most popular decision, and yes it will be a sad day, it is ultimately the necessary and correct decision.
Many years ago, I attended a meeting where a gentleman named Henry Austin Clark was speaking. He was a vintage car enthusiast who owned the Long Island Auto Museum. He recalled the days when Longshore was a private club and how they used to hold sprint races down the long driveway leading into Longshore. Hard to image a Stutz Bearcat flying down this narrow passageway between the trees at 90mph. I’m glad they planted trees years ago to compensate for the loss of these older trees.
This foggy meeting also reminds me of a famous photograph taken by Tracy Sugarman of the entrance to Longshore, The trees were shrouded in fog and a jogger was running right down the middle between the trees. I really liked the photograph, but I was concerned when Tracy was going to do an exhibition in China. We lived in Beijing at the time and I knew that “copyright” and other concepts had not quite reached the local photographers. They must have liked this particular photograph too, because in about 3 months; copies were everywhere.