Efforts continue to save 62 old Douglas fir and western red cedar trees at Ingraham High School in North Seattle. The trees are in a grove of about 120 trees on the west side of the high school.
The Seattle School District decided to design a new classroom addition to replace old portables on the campus without involving neighbors or others in the community. Instead Ingraham High School Principal Martin Floe selected an in house group of administrators and teachers and other school affiliated people to come up with a design. No effort was made to reach out to neighbors or the local Haller Lake Community Club to let them know the design process was going on, to ask if anyone wanted to be involved or give input from the neighborhood.
It turns out that they never priced out or looked at any other designs besides the site the architect who designed the school in 1959 suggested in 1959. Since then a large grove of 120 some trees, including 100 foot tall Douglas fir, western red cedar and madrone trees have thrived in the area and created a unique park like setting on the west side of the school.
Back on Arbor Day last month King 5 TV did a segment on the controversy. You can view it by going to KING 5 VIDEO.
Since the session aired the Seattle School District has withdrawn their original determination of non-significance and have completed a second draft of the Environmental Checklist. They will soon issue a revised draft for comment and this will represent another opportunity for neighbors and Seattle residents to question the need to cut down some 62 large Douglas fir and western red cedar trees when an alternative site exists on the North side of the school to build the new classrooms without cutting down any trees.
You can help to stop the destruction of these trees by sending an e-mail to the Seattle School Board members telling them you oppose cutting down the trees and that they should come up with an alternative design. Our tax dollars pay for the Seattle Public Schools. We have every right to demand that they spend them in an environmentally sound way and do it in a manner than protects our urban forested habitat.
In the last 30 years we have lost some 50% of our tree canopy in the city. It is absurd to keep cutting it. And the Seattle School District and Seattle School Board have a viable alternative to cutting the trees down. The Seattle School District actually shows the North site as available for possible future expansion. What a terrible lesson the Seattle School District is giving to our students.