Opinion: Old, Stately Trees were Destroyed for Sidewalk Construction Project, Here’s What We Need to Do

Old trees cut down on Berkeley Avenue. Credit: James Ward.

Residents of Orange Township are outraged over last week’s removal of well-managed, decades-old shade trees on Berkeley Avenue for the sidewalk construction project. The City’s actions have negatively impacted the area’s ecosystem and the overall look and feel of the community.

Many residents are disappointed by the decision to remove these trees without due consideration of their value to the community. Trees play an important role in mitigating the urban heat island effect, improving air quality, and contributing to the overall aesthetics of the area.
 
In response, I’m calling for the formation of a Shade Tree Commission with the power to plant and preserve the vital tree canopy in the public right of way. The commission would provide guidance on tree species selection, planting and maintenance practices, and the development of policies that prioritize the protection and preservation of trees in the area and ensure that infrastructure projects do not come at the cost of the environment and the well-being of the community.
BY JAMES WARD

BY JAMES WARD

ORANGE RESIDENT AND SEVEN OAKS SOCIETY FOUNDER