Wellington Square Residents Show Up In Force For MINC Meeting Tree Issue

I promised a now long-overdue summary on what transpired at last week’s MINC meeting regarding the issue of saving the trees along Washington Blvd. in Wellington Square. To put it mildly, Wellington Square rocked the meeting! We had 14 residents from our neighborhood in attendance (including Sylvia Lacy and myself – who technically had to be there for other reasons as well, but I’m counting us!) – which is more than the quorum of board members from MINC in attendance that night.

At the meeting, we had a lively and thorough discussion of the issue – both of the need for the repair of our sidewalks along Washington, as well as the need to protect the historic trees that line the boulevard and make/keep them safe so that branches and other pieces of the trees will not fall into the roadway and injure anyone. Ed Struzik of Victoria Ave. actually showed up with a protest sign (supposedly from a conversation he had with the trees!) made of a saw – that implored “please don’t cut us down” – which got a big laugh from the other stakeholders and the board members.

And as I already mentioned to those who attended, our show of force at the meeting really did shift the way things were going – we had a positive affect on how this whole thing will be approached. As Sylvia said at the meeting that night, CD-10 was already committed to work with the city to try to make sure that the trees didn’t come down, but all us being there last Monday night helped get MINC on the same page. Before the meeting, MINC was more concerned with the sidewalks, and the trees were secondary (or not a concern at all – hence, they could be cut down). After our discussion – and our strong show of support of the trees – that changed, and the trees will now be the focus of the sidewalk repair, at least along our stretch of Washington. In fact, MINC has decided to create a subcommittee to address the issue (something the other board members were surprised at since that rarely happens) – and it’s good for us, because it means that MINC will now be working to help save the trees as well – and that’s what we needed to have happen… we needed to get everyone, including MINC, on that same page.

So, it’s not over – and we’ll need to work with the city to figure out how to deal with this. But, I think working together… we’ll be able to accomplish this. I’ve already spoken to Bruce Durbin, who chairs the PLUM committee which will head this subcommittee, and the groundwork will be laid at the PLUM meeting tomorrow night, which I plan to attend. I asked Bruce whether anyone from our neighborhood beside myself should be there, and he said he didn’t think it was necessary, and most of it will be procedural, and I can easily convey all of the details to the residents afterward. So, I’ll be sure to follow up with all of you in a further post to let you know what happens. Also, Sylvia said she’d let us know when the meeting with the Urban Foresters was going to be, on September 1st – so that some of us could attend that as well. I’ll be sure to pass along any information I have, as I get it. And lastly, our new WSIA president has formed a committee with several concerned residents who know much more about the trees and the city plans than even I do – and they plan to work with CD-10 and MINC to make sure that our trees are protected, as well as our sidewalks repaired – and some other issues including the maintenance of the medians along Wellington Rd. and the further care of the trees along 23rd Ave. (thanks to the Bowers family for their continued watering – they’re looking great!).

Thanks again for all of you who showed up on a Monday night and gave of your time! It was so great to see everyone there! Way to go Region 3!!!

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