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Saving Colman Park Trees

How I view the proposal for clearing a view through the trees at the upper, 31st Avenue, end of Colman Park, writing as a trained Urban Forester and as an active P-Patch gardener in Colman Park close to where trees would be removed or pruned, and as a former volunteer in Colman Park:

Urban forest restoration recommends the installation and protection of large coniferous trees on steep slope land, especially where prone to landslides. The history of sites like Colman Park generally includes damage to soil structure by clearcutting, landslides.

  1. A view of the Lake and mountains from above Colman Park is not unique. There are similar views at seven locations along 31st Avenue South that are within a quarter mile -- S College, S Dose, S Plum, S Irving, and S Norman. Just look down these street corridors and you have really nice prospects of the Lake and the distant mountains.

  2. The view from the top of Colman Park is not what one imagines. There is no view of Mt. Rainier.

  3. There are many tall trees on the lower slope that obscure the view, and there are several tall trees including conifers, madrones, and deciduous just below the project area. It is unimaginable that we have forest restoration in reverse, by modifying or removing these trees.

  4. Because of the lack of uniqueness of the view there, the value really is for the homeowners, not much for the general public. The general trend of what happens to public views after they are created is that people begin to park during late night areas; then the adjacent residents push for no-parking areas, thus making the “public viewpoint” much less public.

It’s really the health of the forest that should be the primary goal, and forest health means planting large conifers.

~John Barber, Chair, Parks & Open Space for Leschi CC

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