By Leslie Yager
Crews began clearing trees along the southern most portion of the Greenwich High School campus on Thursday morning. Clearing continued throughout the day on Friday. Neighbors reached out to Greenwich Free Press to say the tree cutting caught them unawares.
On Thursday morning at the Inland Wetlands and Watercourse public counter Applications Coordinator Marisa Anastasio she was unaware of tree cutting plans south of the tennis courts this summer. By 1:00pm she said the cutting was “just part of remediation” but didn’t know if the trees had been marked or whether they would be replaced.
A call to the new Assistant Wetlands Compliance Officer, Daniel Berheide said he was reviewing the plans and would visit the site. “I would hope they’re not taking any liberties with the trees,” he said and promised to return the call.
A message left for Tree Warden Bruce Spaman on Thursday was not returned.
Thursday afternoon Board of Education Communications Director Kim Eves agreed to find out whether the trees has been tagged, why they needed to be removed, and whether they would be replaced one-for-one.
On Friday afternoon, Eves relayed a response from Amy Siebert, the Director of Greenwich’s DPW:
“The Department of Public Works (DPW) and their environmental consultants have coordinated all tree removals with the Town Tree Warden and will continue to do so should there be a need to adjust the areas of the project that are being worked on (resulting in need to take down more trees).
There is not have a specific count. The trees that are being removed are in the areas where impacted soil must be removed. These areas have been identified by the Town’s environmental consultants and are staked out.
DPW will be developing a landscaping plan to appropriately mitigate for the loss of the trees, again, in coordination with the Town Tree Warden. The intent is to implement the landscaping plan in 2015, pending funding approval. For public safety, we continue to note the south area is closedto the public while the contractor is performing their work this summer.”