Eight of the Nine Seattle City Council Members yesterday signed a letter urging the Seattle School Board to look at alternative designs to cutting down over 80 trees on the west side of Ingraham High School. Ingraham High School is currently considering adding an addition to the west side of the high school to replace a number of old portables that will be taken down.
One alternative site is on the north side of the high school and would not require that any large trees be cut down. It is currently listed as a possible site for a future addition to the high school as part of the school’s long range plans – so it is certainly a viable alternative.
Below is the e-mail sent out by the eight Seattle City Council members as well as some links to previous coverage of this issue and a link to the Seattle Public Schools website link on the Ingraham High School Construction Project. Last Friday the Seattle Public School’s issued a Revised Checklist and (another) Determination of Nonsignificance for the Project.
While the Seattle School District added some more mitigation in the form of planting more trees on the campus, they still do not do a biomass or CO2 fixation analysis that determines how many small trees are needed to compensate for even one large 50 year old, 100 foot tall Douglas fir tree.
With 50 plus years of growth the majority of the Douglas fir and western red cedar trees proposed to be cut down are well on their way to being trees of significance in Seattle. Somewhere the continued cutting down of large trees in Seattle has to stop. The tree cover in Seattle in 1972 was listed as 40%. Last year it was 18%.
From: Richard Conlin
Sent: Monday, May 12, 2008 3:36 PM
Subject: Ingraham H.S. Plans for Expansion
May 12, 2008
Seattle Public Schools
PO Box 34165, MS 11-010
Seattle WA 98124-1165
Dear Board Members,
As members of the City Council, we are writing to request that the School Board take a closer look at plans to expand Ingraham High School. We recognize that the authority to determine a design rests with the School District and School Board, but we have concerns about the proposed plan. We therefore want to communicate those concerns and ask that you consider them as you move forward with this important project.
Our primary uneasiness rests with the loss of most, if not all, of the sixty plus Douglas Firs and some twenty-two Madrona trees that we understand will be cut down under the proposed design. We would like to encourage you to consider alternative designs that might preserve these important assets.
It is important that we maintain and increase our tree canopy, not only to honor the esthetic that our residents know and love, but in order to carry out our responsibility to prevent global warming and to maintain a healthy environment. Stands of mature trees are the lungs of our ecosystem; they provide important benefits to our drainage systems and creeks. In 2007 the City launched an Urban Forest Management Policy to preserve and maintain our tree canopy. Unfortunately, we are rapidly running out of available green space; and, despite our commitment to maintaining the urban forest, trees like those on your property too often are cut.
The loss of mature Madrona and Douglas firs cannot adequately be compensated for by planting young trees. As a City that recognizes its responsibility to future generations, and as a city that has made urban density a goal, we must not lose the opportunities we have to keep existing natural areas.
The City Council has received a significant number of emails and calls opposing the removal of these trees. We believe that it is quite possible that an alternative exists which would give the School District what it needs without losing a valued feature of the community and a precious environmental resource to the City.
We offer any assistance that we could give to work with you to find the right answer for the School District and the community. We sincerely hope that you will take our concerns into consideration.
Council President Richard Conlin
Councilmember Tim Burgess
Councilmember Sally J. Clark
Councilmember Jan Drago
Councilmember Jean Godden
Councilmember Bruce Harrell
Councilmember Nick Licata
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen
Council President Richard Conlin
Seattle City Hall
600 Fourth Avenue, Floor 2
PO Box 34025
Seattle, WA 98124-4025
Additional information by Majority Rules Blog for this post::
Ingraham High School Renovation, Demolition and New Construction Project – Seattle Public Schools
http://www.king5.com/video/index.html?nvid=234572 – King TV Video
Neighbors near Ingraham High School Fight to Save Evergreens – Seattle Times
A Growing Contradiction at Ingraham High – Seattle PI
Correcting the Public Record on Ingraham High School – Majority Rules Blog
Seattle School Board Wins Grinch Award – Majority Rules Blog
Neighbors Urge Seattle School Board to Redesign Ingraham High School Project – Majority Rules Blog
Seattle School District Says Cutting Down 62 Evergreen Trees in City is Not Significant – Majority Rules Blog