If you saw the front page of the Free Lance-Star on Tuesday, Jan. 5, you know about the forum regarding the trees on Washington Avenue Mall.  A group of people has initiated a petition asking for the removal of all the trees that have been planted on the center area of the mall on Washington Avenue, most of which were planted over the past several years by Tree Fredericksburg volunteers, with approval from the city.

The petitioners believe that the trees block the view of their houses, that the trees will distract from the monuments, and that Washington Avenue Mall should be an open grassland without trees. We obviously disagree, and feel that the right trees appropriately planted—approximately the same number of trees as were on the mall back in 1980—will enhance the beauty of the mall, while also preserving plenty of green space and the important sightlines for visitors and residents alike.

The forum will be held by the City of Fredericksburg on Monday, Jan. 25 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Dorothy Hart Center.  At the forum there will be a 15 minute presentation by the City and also a 15 minute presentation by the folks who drafted the petition.  After the presentations, public comments will be allowed (2 minutes each).

You’re welcome to attend the meeting and voice your opinion on this issue, and if you can’t attend, there will be an opportunity to post comments online regarding the trees.  If you wish to sign up in advance to speak at the meeting, send an email to Dave King, assistant director of public works, at dking@fredericksburgva.gov, and ask to be put on the speakers list for the forum.  It is important that you do this quickly.  There will only be a limited number of speakers allowed.

If you do not live in the City, pleas pass this email on to your friends who do.  If you work, shop or eat in the City, please comment as a person who brings economic benefit to our city. And if you have any questions, feel free to email us at treefred@cox.net.