On Monday afternoon Greenwich’s Tree Warden, Dr. Greg Kramer, issued his decision on the 176 trees proposed to be removed from the contaminated fields at Western Middle School.
Last Thursday, Dr. Kramer held a public tree hearing via Zoom. Consultants from Langan detailed the scope of the athletic field project and surrounding woodland soil contamination, as well as the need for remediation.
After their presentation, public comment was lengthy.
Dozens of parents strongly urged the tree warden to approve the removals of the trees so the remediation they have waited seven years for could move forward .
Back in 2016 the town discovered the fields were contaminated and the fields have been shut down use ever since.
The tree hearing was required after a resident, revealed through an FOIA request to be Armando Grijalba, filed an objection to the tree removals.
In his decision letter, Dr. Kramer said, “Having closely listened to the explanation as to why the 176 trees will need to be removed, understanding the process of soil remediation required, and having been closely involved in the post-soil remediation planting plan, as Tree Warden, it is my decision and have concluded that 176 trees be approved for removal.”
However, he said, the following conditions will need to be met:
Tree and vegetation amounts will need to e adhered to as per the approved Planning & Zoning planting plan.
Prior to any changes to vegetation such as species selection, plant size and noted location will need to be discussed with and approved by the Tree Warden.
“As your Tree Warden, by Connecticut statute, I am charged with the ‘care and control’ of all town-owned trees. The Tree Division doesn’t take this responsibility lightly,” Kramer wrote in his decision on Monday. “Each and every tree slated for removal is inspected and decided on a case-by-case basis.”
Now that the tree warden’s decision to proceed has been announced, any resident has 10 days to appeal the decision to the CT State Superior Court.
Dec 1, 2023