Neighbors rally to save Clintonville trees

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UPDATE: Late Monday, city officials said both the trees would not be removed. In a statement, the city said it will mill the old pavement and lay new asphalt in the area near each tree’s drip edge instead of doing a completely new build.

“Our intent in all resurfacing projects is to keep trees in place along the street when possible,” Columbus Community Relations Coordinator Debbie Briner wrote in an email Monday. “We work with the city forester to evaluate safety issues and a tree’s health as part of these roadway improvement projects. Though it isn’t always possible to keep all trees, we are happy that we could work with these property owners to find agreeable solutions. “

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Neighbors on a Clintonville street are rallying to save several beloved landmarks.

At least two Arden Street residents recently received notices their large, curbside streets were scheduled for removal in order to fix the curbs, make sidewalks ADA compliant and resurface roads.

“My tree’s probably over 150 years old and they’re bringing their children by because there’s probably not many things in this city as old as that tree. And that’s really special,” said Maureen Keyhani.

When Keyhani returned from vacation recently, she found a door tag notifying her the city planned to remove the towering pin oak in her front yard. She explained its importance extends beyond its aesthetics.

“These trees have a real purpose in the quality of life that we have and the quality of air that we’re breathing,” she explained.

A rain garden project is currently underway in the Clintonville neighborhood and some neighbors have proposed using the public property surrounding the tree to serve that purpose.

“Let’s think of something that’s going to allow this tree to survive, but allows us to have the roadways and sidewalk access also,” Keyhani said.

Down the road, Robin Brown received a similar notice of removal for her silver maple. The large tree holds a swing for her three young children.

“The kids are out here on the swing like all the time and it would be a big loss for us to have it cut down,” she explained.

Both neighbors have posted signs on their trees and taken to social media to drum up support. By late Monday morning, Brown’s online post had at least 175 interactions.

“I think there’s a lot of people in the neighborhood that really feel strongly about preserving our big trees,” she said. “It gives Clintonville a nice feel. I mean, I think it’s what makes our neighborhood desirable to be in — just the big, old trees and the atmosphere it provides.”

The city said Monday afternoon that it plans to let that century-old pin oak remain on Arden Street.

The city is re-surveying the road and consulting with the city forester to see if it can avoid removing the other trees.

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