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Warden To Decide Fate of North St. School Tree

An old white pine on the grounds of North Street School in Greenwich needs to be cut down as part of traffic and drainage improvements, a consultant said at a public hearing Thursday. A nearby resident wants the tree to stay, and tree warden Bruce Spaman has three days to decide its fate.

Fourteen trees will be cut down if the schoiol project is approved. Spaman conducted the hearing, which was prompted by objections from Heather Fargis, whose children attend the school. The tree sits where a new bus lane will go, and its removal would also allow water to drain from the area faster.

While she agrees improved traffic flow is necessary, Fargis said, “I want to make sure that all efforts are made to save significant trees on site.”

Robert Pryor of Diversified Technology Consultants said the plan is sensitive to residents’ concerns about the trees, but that safety is the ultimate issue. “That pine tree out there, if you go out there today there’s a big limb lying right next to it. If a little kid was walking under that tree when that limb fell, then that kid probably wouldn’t be around,” he said. “We would suggest it be removed, even if it wasn’t part of the problem. ”

The co-presidents of the school’s parent teacher association, Jane Hentemann and Kerrie Steele Rubin, said they support the plan and intend to donate a new tree to the project.

Spaman said he will send out his decision in three days and that residents will have 10 days in which to appeal to Superior Court in Stamford.

Where do you stand on the tree issue? Comment below or email ahelhoski@mainstreetconnect.us .

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