Thursday, June 01, 2006

A tree grows in South Philadelphia (and this is news why?)

Judas priest. Never have we ever heard of idiocy like this before.

Apparently, some people in this fine city oppose planting new street trees.

What you say? No, it's true.

Now, we know Gingkos can get a little smelly, but come on — how could anyone possibly be against a greener city?

Allegedly, there are a number of longtime Philadelphia residents who have convinced themselves that trees are undesirable on their blocks.
Looking down 13th Street, trees are conspicuously absent from the sidewalk in front of homes belonging to lifelong Italian residents and their relatives. During the 15 years Kelly and Ryan have lived here, old-timers have told them trees are dirty and attract unwanted birds. "If there's a new tree," Kelly says, "you can assume it [was planted by] a new person."

... Mindy Maslin, who runs the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's Tree Tenders program, has encountered similar resistance in Fairmount, some pockets in West Philly and wherever older residents mix with new ones. Maslin tells them trees clean the air, reduce storm water runoff and temperatures, elevate moods, increase a sense of safety and slow traffic. Her program teaches volunteers how to properly plant and care for trees and refute complaints that trees bring rats, are dirty, attract birds, break up the sidewalk and tangle power lines.
Thank. You. Mindy.

We’ve heard of idiot corporations tearing down trees on Walnut Street because they’re corporations and worthless, but we had no idea there were a bunch of old coots
out there slandering trees.
Trees are for the suburbs, a few neighbors told Brown. They aggravate allergies and make a big mess when the leaves drop. And everyone with a rowhouse resume knows tree roots ruin sidewalks and sewer pipes, right? [Inky]
For fuck’s sake — who are these people and what the shit are they smoking?

Earth to Matilda: adding trees to your street in Philadelphia will do nothing. Nothing except clean the air you breath, cool your house when it’s hot out, increase the beauty of your block, keep your kids safer, increase the value of your property and enhance your overall quality of life. But you're you're right — that sounds like a terrible idea.

Judging from what Chi-town has done, we’re going to go ahead and say the current $8 million, statewide, tree-planting initiative is a step in the right direction. A step.

Luckily, the TreeVitalize folks weren’t born yesterday. After noticing that some of the newly planted trees in South Philadelphia were being vandalized, the Passyunk Square Civic Association responded:
On May 5, they dedicated the trees to the city's living police officers, giving the force much-needed thanks and ensuring the trees' protection. Planting organizer Geoff DiMasi sees it's working. While he was pruning, a cop stopped him and asked, "Can I see your Tree Tender card?"
Genious.

Seriously. That’s smart.

Related:
If lunacy befalls South Philadelphia, does it make a sound? [CityPaper]

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