"Fully understanding and respecting Shelly Landis’ concern for the trees in the Fall Creek Place (FCP) neighborhoods, as described in her letter to the editor (LETTERS “No tree left behind,” January 17-24), I must say that Fall Creek Place is nothing more than a total success story, including the trees!
This fourth, and possibly final, phase of redeveloping the old “Dodge City” neighborhood brings the total of over 1000 new trees planted in the public right-of-way alone! Counting the new home lots, an additional 1000 trees have, or will be, planted within the private properties that make up Fall Creek Place. That’s 2000 new trees in this 35 square block urban neighborhood! This could not have been done without first inventorying, analyzing, making informed and selected decisions, and then removing certain existing trees that had outlived their contributing purpose on this planet.
All trees removed within all four phases of FCP, were either dead, diseased, dangerous (falling limbs and trunks), or would have impeded or prohibited the construction of the new homes, and without the homes, there would be no new neighborhood. The vast majority of the removed trees were on the private lots that were vacant and derelict, and had seen no maintenance or care of the trees in many, many decades. The vast majority of the oldest, largest, and trees in the worst condition, were originally ‘volunteer trees’ that grew up in fences, along foundations, in power lines and many other locations not regularly mowed or maintained.
I can not speak for Mayor Peterson, or David Forsell of KIB, but I do know they both support and understand what it takes to turn a neighborhood like Fall Creek Place into the livable and successful place it has become. This takes time, experience, patience, and vision. The transition period from old to new, especially during the initial and visible construction activities, can easily appear “incensing” and devastating to the passing eye, but the final product will speak for itself!
The tree study facts Shelly has mentioned are all true...just drive through the first three phases of Fall Creek Place and see for yourself!
Kevin K. Parsons ASLA