After Sean Sweat brought attention to the potential loss of the 1st Street Ficus Tree, many people jumped in to contact the city and Robert Diehl even created a petition. I know it is a tiny victory and the rest of the project is going as planned, but I’m really happy it worked out.
On the other hand, I wonder about the environmental destruction that was caused by the energy it took to share the information about the tree, after all, computers use a lot of energy.
Either way, this beautiful tree lives, and we can all be happy when we stop underneath it when we walk around downtown.
I just got the following email:
On Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 4:53 PM, <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Thank you for contacting us regarding the First Street Streetscape project and its potential impact on the large ficus tree.
Due to the level of interest in saving this tree, the Street Transportation Department has decided to leave the tree in place and incorporate it into the current project. We will redesign the project in the area around the tree to take advantage of the shade it provides, but still achieve the project goal of increased pedestrian circulation. We will make every effort to minimize impacts to the tree during this construction project.
At this time we believe that the additional work will have a minimal cost impact to the project and should only extend the completion date by 1 or 2 days. We will continue to work with our contractor to expedite the project through all available means.
Again, thank you for your interest in making Phoenix great.
David Cavazos, City Manager
Rick Naimark, Deputy City Manager