There are knots in my stomach as I write this in response to the article, “Clarke Park work to kick off soon” (Chief, July 5).
The public and the children who love the cherry trees still haven’t been given a good reason why they must be removed and who it is that wants them removed. I’m not sure how accurate the information has been in the media, but the reasons I’ve read and heard are less than satisfactory.
I’ve heard they are “too old,” but that’s why these trees are awesome! Mature trees are priceless. I don’t know about your children, but mine will be older than I am by the time any new trees will reach the wonderful age of the cherry trees now found at Stan Clarke Park.
What does age have to do with it if the trees remain healthy? Just this spring children played among their bountiful fragrant blossoms. They look more than fine to me. A previous article quotes Squamish’s arborist, saying that the trees are “...vigorous and do not represent any significant risk.” They may be old, but they will probably blanket the street with pink petals for many springs to come.
Another excuse for their removal was that they are growing into the hydro lines. I’m not a great thinker, but I think there is a practice called “pruning” that, if done well, would prevent the trees from growing into the lines. Hmmm?
Another reason I’ve read is that the trees stand in the way of the plan’s landscaping and low-profile fence. How much money did the district get to upgrade the park? Half a million? And they can’t create a plan that includes the cherry trees? Come on. Another article in The Chief quoted the district’s general manager of engineering and parks.
“It is easy to keep them or to take them out... We will let council make that decision. They are certainly not critical to the project.”
If they are not critical for the park’s upgrade and people have pleaded for their survival, why remove them?
And the last reason... “The leaves make the area dark.” I’m really puzzled with this one. I think the parents and children who spend time sweating, squinting and burning in the other Squamish playgrounds which have been clear cut of all trees call the blessed dark leaves “shade.”
One last thing I would like to ask is, “What does it take to make our governments listen?” When it comes to saving the environment or nature they’ve gone completely berserk. There have been articles, petitions, letters, etc., trying to save these trees and still we are ignored. Is there some hidden agenda that the trees must go? Because so far I am not convinced in any way.
Save the cherry trees of Stan Clarke Park.