The City of Raleigh is cutting down about 100 trees at Pullen Park as part of the Pullen Arts Center Renovation Project.
Some Raleigh residents are not happy about it.
“Amazing sadness, great sadness,” said Mayoral candidate and lifelong Raleigh resident George Knott. “We’re Raleigh, we’re the ‘City of Oaks’ and I look at this I think well maybe we’re the city of jokes.”
I took these complaints to Raleigh City Councilwoman Stef Mendell.
“It’s sad whenever you take down a tree,” Mendell said.
She says people have reached out to her about the trees being cut down. She met with park officials Thursday to learn more about the project.
“It’s true that around 100 trees are going to come down, it looks like about a third of those trees are either dead or in poor condition anyway,” Mendell said.
As for the healthy ones Knott says, “I don’t see any reason to cut down a healthy tree.”
Mendell says the trees need to come down to replace aging public utility lines, among other improvements.
“We are doing everything we can to save as many trees as possible, but in order to replace the sewer lines and things like that some of them are going to have to come down.”
Mendell says 105 trees are coming down, and 105 new trees will be planted in better areas in order to minimize the impact on future infrastructure projects.
“The information I found out makes me feel very comfortable that we are doing everything we can to preserve the trees and make the changes that we need to make.”
Changes that park user Jordan Garrison is excited about.
“It sucks that the trees have to be knocked down or taken out, but if they have a good plan for it I mean go for it,” Garrison said.
The city had several public meetings about this project in order to hear feedback and address concerns. Knott says he did not attend any of the meetings, but he does not support the plan to remove healthy trees.
“I think it’s horrible that we’ve done this,” Knott said.
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