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Concerned resident shares surprising observation after attending contentious city council meeting: 'I'd been following the issue for a couple years'

"The people of the city were clear."

"The people of the city were clear."

Photo Credit: iStock

A Redditor from Whittier, California, posted on their community's subreddit to congratulate local citizens for speaking up loud and clear on an environmental issue. 

"Proud of the turnout at last night's city council meeting," they said in their post on r/Whittier. "The prospect of Whittier removing all the trees on Greenleaf brought a large amount of residents out at the meeting last night."

According to the Redditor, the City Council intended to remove all of the trees in the affected area. While they and many of the attendees agreed that the invasive ficus trees should be removed, the Redditor was concerned that they would not be replaced.

"The roots are invasive and cause an issue with sidewalks and plumbing," the Redditor conceded. "But there isn't a need to remove them all at once like the city council is trying to do. It can be phased out over an extended timeline to avoid losing the canopy while steadily replacing with more appropriate trees and giving them time to grow. The people of the city were clear that they don't want to walk by saplings for 20 years before we ever see a canopy again."

That desire is understandable since trees improve the atmosphere of urban areas so significantly. Trees provide shade, which helps to prevent heat islands from developing. They also clear pollution from the air and produce oxygen for people to breathe. After many decades of destroying forests and jungles, we are only now starting to mitigate that damage

Thankfully, Whittier residents seem committed to preserving the town's greenery. 

"I'd been following the issue for a couple years and was starting to think green space wasn't valued by anyone in Whittier," said the original poster. "... But there were so many passionate speakers of all ages last night showing how much they value the urban forest and want to protect it."

Commenters held out hope for a smoother and more environmentally friendly transition. 

"I attended a previous chamber of Whittier meeting where they said they were planning on replacing the trees with full grown trees and not saplings. A species of tree with less invasive roots," said one user.

The original poster also expressed concern that future trees might be "similarly invasive." To avoid this issue, the City Council could choose native species, which thrive on the local conditions and need little additional water or care. 

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