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November 10, 2007

Fight to save Ginkgo in Kansas City

"Ginkgo trees in Japan, considered living fossils for their age and tenacity, survived the atomic blast at Hiroshima. But northeast Johnson County residents Bernadette and Denny Lee fear their half-century-old ginkgo will not survive a vote of the Roeland Park City Council. The 40-foot tree — now naked after this week’s cold snap denuded it in a single night — is in the path of a $5 million storm water project designed to protect residents from knee-deep flooding that has plagued the area for more than three decades."
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Topic by Bernadette Lee.


At 1/26/2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Despite a homeowner’s pleas, a 50-year-old ginkgo tree in the path of a $5 million Roeland Park stormwater project will be removed.

The Roeland Park City Council voted 6-0 Tuesday night to proceed with the condemnation for the project designed to alleviate flooding in the area generally bounded by Parish Drive on the west, Reinhardt on the east, 53rd Street on the south and 47th Street on the north. Council members Toni Hull and Megan England were absent.

The tree is on property owned by Bernadette Lee, 4916 Howe St. The easement on her property is one of 24 being sought by the city to create the drainage district for the project.

The public works committee agreed last spring to proceed with the project. After its decision, Lee tried to persuade the city to save the 40-foot-tall tree, which was planted in a utility easement before she moved to the city 15 years ago. Lee said that the tree was appraised at $5,100.

To save the tree, she asked the city to run a longer drain pipe at an angle across a neighbor’s property. John and Jo Grauberger initially supported her suggestion.

But when the public works committee held discussions with Lee and the Graubergers, the Graubergers withdrew their support for moving the easement.

The city is considering planting several Ginkgo trees, each 3 inches in diameter, in municipal parks to help compensate for the loss of the tree.

Source: The Kansas City Star, January 25, 2008
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