Nonprofit organization stands up against cutting of oak tree in Long Beach

On Saturday, a 200-year-old live oak tree was cut down in Long Beach to make room for future development. Many residents have voiced their displeasure, but a new nonprofit group is prepared to fight for future trees.

The Growth and Beautification Long Beach Corporation was created in early April. Their goal was to get people with different expertise on development projects together so they could work something out with the city before a live oak tree targeted for removal was cut down. Growth and Beautification Long Beach President Lucius Marks said, “The first thing was to try and work with developers and the city. Just to sit down with their design team and see if there were ways, we could save the tree. And my background has been in construction management and program management, so I felt like I could help facilitate that, but we never could get a response from anyone.”

The group was finally able to meet with someone on Friday, but it was too late.

There’s not much that can be done to save this tree now, but the Growth and Beautification Long Beach nonprofit is asking the city to exercise due diligence if a situation like this ever arises again.

Philip Shaw is an architect. Based on his observation, the site plan was not sufficient enough to prove they could not work around the tree. “It can be done. There are a lot of ways to do it that I think probably had not been explored by the developer.”

Attorney Michael Prestia says the lack of clarity hurt the community. “What we’re really trying to do is send a message to the city to be more aggressive, more outspoken. Ask questions to these developers that come in.”

This corporation hopes to work with the city in the future to prevent this from happening again. Marks said, “It’s more than this tree. We don’t want this to continue in the future, so we need to do something to help.”

City officials are unable to provide comment at this time.

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