Efforts to save 62 old Douglas fir and Western Red Cedar trees from being cut down at Ingraham High School are gaining momentum. Neighbors have collected over 650 signatures on a petition urging “Ingraham High School, the Seattle School District, the Seattle School Board and the School Design Team to develop an alternative design for Ingraham High School that protects the 62 large Douglas Fir and Western Cedar trees, currently being proposed to be cut down on the west side of the high school”.
Signers of the petition include King County Executive Ron Sims; State Senators Ed Murray and Ken Jacobsen; and State Representatives Mary Lou Dickerson and Phyllis Kenney.
Other signers include Estella Leopold, Professor Emeritus in Botany at the University of Washington, Joan Thomas, a former President of the Washington Environmental Council, and Marilyn Knight, a former President of the League of Women Voters of Washington.
Also signing were 4 Democratic candidates for the State Legislature – Gerald Pollet and Scott White in the 46th LD, John Burbank in the 36th LD and Tina Orwall in the 33rd LD.
Senator Ed Murray was the prime sponsor in the Senate of the urban forestry bill for Green Cities E2SHB 2844, passed by the state legislature earlier this year that called on cities and counties to inventory existing trees and develop plans to conserve and retain existing trees.
Last week both the Community Council Federation of Seattle and the Haller Lake Community Club voted their support of the petition drive urging the school district to not cut down the trees but look at an alternative site.
The plans by the Seattle School District to cut down what has at latest count increased to 66 Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar trees, flies smack in the face of the efforts of the Washington State Legislature, as well as a recent order by Mayor Greg Nickels of Seattle, to preserve existing trees in urban areas and overall increase the number of trees in the city.
The grove of trees at Ingraham is a poster child of efforts to save trees in Seattle and the state. If we can’t stop the destruction of over 2/3 of the trees in the grove at Ingraham, then no tree in Seattle is safe.
Neighbors support the effort to renovate Ingraham High School and build new classrooms to replace the old portables being taken down but note that other locations exist on the campus where the classrooms could be built without cutting down any large or old trees. In particular there is a large grassy open space on the north side of the school that could easily accommodate the classrooms.
Copies of the petitions containing over 650 signatures were delivered to the Seattle School Board at their Board meeting on Wednesday, April 9, 2008.
Earlier in the day King TV did an evening news segment on the Save the Trees campaign.