Group says lost trees during Pelham Parkway reconstruction won’t be replaced

The pending removal of one large oak tree has the community wanting answers from the city.

News 12 Staff

Jun 16, 2020, 9:37 PM

Updated 1,443 days ago

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The pending removal of one large oak tree has the community wanting answers from the city. 
The city is in Phase 2 of water main reconstruction and so far has had to remove over 50 trees. Friends of Pelham Parkway say an oak tree at the corner of Pelham Parkway North and White Plains Road is supposed to be removed sometime in the next month. 
"What makes up the park is community and trees, without neither one it’s not a park,” says Friends of Pelham Parkway organizer Roxanne Delagado.  
Delgado says the parkway is the only open space in the area for residents and that it’s been a lifesaver during the pandemic. 
She says she understands why but wants the native trees to be replaced in the area. 
"We’re not against planting trees on the south side but the trees they remove belong back here,” says Delgado. 
She says right now the plans they've been given show that the lost trees won’t be replaced in the north end, where they were removed. 
"That seems like they’re discriminating against this section of Pelham Parkway North because we are mostly tenants and NYCHA residents, people of color, immigrants,” said Delgado. 
She says the oak tree provides shade, helps protect from pollution and contributes to the health of the park. 
"If they don’t replace our trees, I see no future for the parkway...The community is the parkway. If the parkway fails, the community will fail as well,” says Delgado. 
Delgado says for now the planting has been postponed until next year due to COVID-19.
DDC released a statement to News 12 saying in part, “We try very hard to preserve the City’s natural features. There’s a project Task Force and also a Technical Working Group that examines every tree removal and tree planting in the project area. Since the beginning of the Pelham Parkway project, DDC has found ways to preserve more than 50 trees that were scheduled to be removed.”


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