After Long Court Battle, Ingraham High School Trees Finally Come Down Today
posted by RIYA
BHATTACHARJEE on FRI,
JAN 28, 2011 at 10:16
The trees finally come down at
The Seattle school district started cutting down a grove of
trees at Ingraham High School at 8:30 a.m. today, even as a
group of environmentalists protested against it. The tree
removal came more than two months after a King County Superior
Court Judge lifted
injunction to stop it, clearing the way for the construction of
a classroom building. Judge Theresa Doyle ruled that local
environmentalist group Save the Trees—who filed a lawsuit
against the district to stop more than 70 trees from being razed
two years ago—had failed
to prove that the district had violated environmental laws
Ingraham High School Trees to "Scream" on Friday!
The Seattle School District is
going to cut down 27 trees
tomorrow Friday Jan 28, 2011
(about one quarter of the NW
Grove) at Ingraham High School.
For several days the School
District has been assembling
equipment and preparing to cut
down the trees. Tomorrow
students have the day off.
Tonight just before dark I went
over to check things out once
again and asked a worker in a
hardhat when they were going to
cut the trees down. His
response was that "tomorrow
the trees would be screaming
It's strange but I could not
think of a more apt response for
If Seattle Mayor McGinn has his
way, no trees in Seattle will be
protected from destruction.
Ingraham is only a precursor to
many more trees being lost
because Mayor McGinn is
proposing to deregulate all tree
protection in the city. Strange
that someone who supposedly ran
with a label as an
environmentalist has no love for
protecting Seattle's green
infrastructure. When we tried to
talk to McGinn and his staff
about saving the Ingraham trees
he choose to ignore us and
wouldn't even schedule an
opportunity for us to discuss
the situation with him.
and Blogs below story.
For more Information contact: Steve
Zemke 206-366-0811 (home) 206-999-6095 (cell)
Seattle Times Editorial : Sept 11, 08.
Cut out the loophole: Mayor Greg Nickels' tree-cutting proposal closes a cut
first, seek forgiveness later loophole in city code.
August 27, 2008
Seattle School District Violates Court Injunction
On Monday Judge Erlick of the King County
Superior Court ruled on behalf of the plaintiffs Save the Trees – Seattle and
put in place an Injunction to prevent the Seattle School District from cutting
the trees or destroying the habitat in the grove of trees on the West side of
Ingraham High School. This afternoon, a contractor for the Seattle School
District drove into the center of the grove and commenced putting up another
fence in the proposed construction area. Using an air hammer the contractor
started driving steel posts into the ground.
This action was in direct violation of Judge
Erlick’s ruling that the trees and habitat were to be preserved and protected
while the Seattle School District resubmitted its construction permit
application to the City of Seattle. Steve Zemke of Save the Trees – Seattle
called the police and contacted their attorney, Keith Scully, of Gendler and
Mann, who contacted Ron English, Attorney for the Seattle School District who
contacted MidMountain Contractors who called their employee to stop any further
The truck was driven out of the grove a short
while later. The call to the police was cancelled as they had not yet shown up.
Tree Solutions and other consultants have advised the Seattle School District to
keep trucks out of the trees because they damage the tree roots and affect the
survivability of the trees. The Seattle School District continues to ignore
this advice and the court order prohibiting damage to the tree grove until the
environmental review process is completed.
Why was the Seattle School District not able to
obey the court order and inform all contractors of the Injunction prohibiting
any activities which would harm or destroy the trees or the habitat of the
groove? The Project manager at Ingraham is John McWilliams and he should be
held responsible along with Don Gilmore who is in charge of the BEX program.
John McWilliams and Don Gilmore were both present
in Judge Erlick’s courtroom on Monday when Judge Erlick ruled. Did they not
understand what the Judge said? As Project Manager for the Ingraham Project
isn’t McWilliams responsible for what the contractors do? Or is this just going
to be called another one of those “mistakes” or “miscommunications” and brushed
Contactors working at Denny Sealth in West
Seattle recently cut down trees and bulldozed an area along Long Fellow Creek on
the Sealth campus at the same time an appeal was underway before a Seattle
School District Hearing Examiner. This action destroying that habitat made that
part of the appeal mute and resulted in the Hearing Examiner saying the School
District needed to up the loss of trees there from 25 to 35 to reflect that
action. The actual result was contrary to a statement by Seattle School Board
member Peter Maier who was seen on television saying that a few trees were
nicked was all that happened.
Trees!, representing the neighbors and community around
Ingraham High School, has been granted a temporary restraining order to halt the
cutting of 68 trees in the West Grove. This action became necessary when the
Seattle School District withdrew their construction permits, trying to avoid
further environmental review of their project by the City of Seattle. They
believed they could then just cut down the trees and then reapply for a new
The Seattle School District wanted to prevent
further judicial review by those who believe the trees don’t have to be cut.
Our position is that the District can build the
project on the open lawn area on the North side of the school without cutting
down any large trees. We can have both the educational benefits of a renovated
school and the environmental benefits of a healthy urban forest and park.
It is not an either or situation but a choice to have both.
Trees! needs your help to continue their battle.
some of you getting
this letter have already helped us raise a $7500 bond
or the trees would have been cut down.
Thank you for your timely help.
now need to raise another $25,000 to continue the legal battle.
If you want to see both
trees and education coexist in our neighborhood and city, please send a generous check to Save
Please include your e-mail so we can keep you updated. Thanks for helping!
check today to:
Save the Trees!
c/o Steve Zemke, 2131 N 132nd
Aug 26 District still can't see forest for the trees
Judge delays district's plan to
cut down 100 trees at Ingraham High
Aug 25 Tree
huggers win at Ingraham High School
Judge prohibits School District from cutting Ingraham High trees
Judge halts tree cutting near Ingraham High School
Plan to cut 100 trees at Ingraham High Draws protestors
Group Protests School Districts plans to cut down trees at Ingraham
Dateline earth: Seattle schools to cut down Ingraham trees
Judge blocks tree cutting at Ingraham
Group sues to keep trees from being cut down near Ingraham High School
schools blasted for tree cutdown plan
Local Debate keeps growing over how to protect trees
Letter: Cutting Trees
Loss looms in Seattle's Urban Forest
Seattle's tree scape Withold the ax
Dstrict to chop nearly 70 trees at high.
letter: Tree trouble
Letter: Schools and Trees
A Growing Contradiction at Ingraham High
Neighbors near Ingraham High School fight to save Evergreens
Neighbors livid over school district's tree-cutting plan
Ron Sims, lawmakers want school trees saved