The facts about Jackson Park tree removal

To the Editor:

We write in support of the letter by the co-chairs of Save the Midway that appeared in last week’s Herald, and would like to offer one correction. They called attention to the long-lasting deleterious effect of the proposed Obama Presidential Center (OPC) on the natural environment of Jackson Park and its communities and beyond, and they noted that, among other things, the project entailed the clear-cutting of at least 300 trees.

In fact, the number of trees to be removed to accommodate the current plan for the OPC and the related road changes that it requires is likely to be more than 800. The majority of these trees are mature, large and healthy. While the Obama Foundation and CDOT will plant new trees, it will be a generation or more before Jackson Park recovers to anything like its current verdant state. Such an extensive loss is unnecessary: the OPC could be built in the Park without the environmentally disruptive and expensive road changes now proposed.

Brenda Nelms and Margaret Schmid
Co-presidents, Jackson Park Watch