By Maria Saporta
Last week, several large trees were cut down at Grady High School – some anticipated and some not.
Grady is undergoing an expansion, and the way the new building was designed, it meant that two magnificent trees would have to go. That happened last week.
But at the same time, three other significant, healthy trees on the front lawn were cut down – to the surprise of nearby residents.
At a community meeting last summer, the late Alvah Hardy (director of facilities for the Atlanta Public Schools) said the district’s plans had changed so that no trees on the front lawn would need to be cut down. Instead, Hardy said two trees would be transplanted rather than removed. And two existing trees were replanted in the front lawn.
But then on April Fool’s Day, three other trees were taken down.
What messages are we sending our students and our community when APS is cutting down trees – one of the best ways to fight climate change and to beautify our environment?
What messages are we sending when we cut down grand trees for a new building rather than looking at ways to design around our green infrastructure?
And what messages will we be sending if we develop a parking lot on Grady’s front lawn – that cars are more important than our quality of life?
We can do better.
Two statuesque trees provided shade and beauty on the north side of Grady’s historic building (Photo taken in July 2019 by Maria Saporta)
Those two grand trees on March 29th in the process of being cut down (Photo by Maria Saporta)
After the fact. Only stumps remain on April 5 (Photo by Maria Saporta)
Workers cut down one of three trees on Grady High’s front lawn on April 1 (Photo by Maria Saporta)
A healthy stump shows the remains of that tree on Grady’s front lawn (Photo by Maria Saporta)
Photo shows the stumps of two other healthy trees that were cut down in front of Grady last week (Photo by Maria Saporta)
Rendering shows the plan to turn Grady High’s front lawn into a parking lot (Photo by Maria Saporta)