Tulsans Work To Stop The Chop In Woodward Park

Friday, April 27th 2007, 8:17 pm

By: News On 6

Some Tulsa tree lovers appear to be winning a battle with the city Friday. They've begun a campaign called Stop the Chop. They're fighting to keep trees from being cut down in Woodward Park. News On 6 anchor Jennifer Loren reports it appears they've stopped the chop, at least for now.

Woodward Park was bustling on a nice Friday afternoon. You see children playing in the grass, teenagers playing ball, dozens of tubby little squirrels looking on curiously and red ribbons marking a controversy brewing in the shade of the park's oak trees.

"Why do you think they're doing this? I'd like to know. We'd like to know. It doesn't make sense," said Chris Halliwell of the Stop the Chop campaign.

Halliwell grew up across the street from Woodward Park. He says shade trees have always been part of Woodward's charm. Seeing the trees marked for demolition was heart-breaking.

But the ribbons were not actually put here by the city. A neighbor wrapped them around the trees because she thought the dots the city marked the trees with were too inconspicuous.

That neighbor was Halliwell’s mother. Together they confronted the city, asking them why the trees were being cut down.

"At first they told her that the trees were aging, damaged and diseased, and they had to come down and if they could trim them they would," said Halliwell.

But the Halliwell's had a different certified arborist look at the trees. According to his report, the trees can still be saved by doing a little trimming, and that's why they've chosen to put up a fight. Together with some neighbors, they formed a campaign, Stop the Chop. They've put up signs and are collecting signatures, trying to stop the city from cutting down any more trees. It’s an effort, park-goers applaud.

"It’s kind of shocking because some of the trees do look young," said Tulsa resident Cindy Ivy.

"It’s trees. I really don't think you should cut them," said Tulsa resident Khadija Ejaz.

And according to a statement from the city, their effort is working. The city says they will hold a meeting with the neighbors as soon as they reassess the tree situation. There is no word yet, when that will take place.

Watch the video: Stop The Chop

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