Tree and Green Space Haters in Philly

Tree and Green Space Haters in Philly

We got a kick out of the comments on Facebook and other sites regarding our campaign to maintain open space and a 80 year old tree in South Philadelphia.  Some will make you laugh and others will make you go what?  Please help save open space in development projects and sign and share our petition today.

https://www.change.org/p/councilman-mark-squilla-save-old-2-st-tree

Here are some of the best:

Hey Suburbanites, welcome to Philly, land of concrete. If you want trees everywhere, move back to the Culdesac!

Want more trees. Move to Jersey! Worried about oxygen. Get rid of the factories. Car exhaust. Ride a bike.

If you’re stupid enough to live in an urban environment you should have to take a bus to see a tree.

Really?! Wildlife?!!!! Rabid pigeons? Rats? Roaches… Progress

Other comments for or against were items that one could discuss and debate.  We have learned a lot from all sides and perspectives.

The land of concrete one inspired the cartoon.

Hey look we missed a green spot...more concrete please
Hey look we missed a green spot…more concrete please

Please don’t forget to sign and share our petition to save small open spaces in new developments in Philadelphia.
https://www.change.org/p/councilman-mark-squilla-save-old-2-st-tree

https://www.change.org/p/councilman-mark-squilla-save-old-2-st-tree
https://www.change.org/p/councilman-mark-squilla-save-old-2-st-tree

Dating the Tree alongside the Neighborhood

History from 1962 recorded with our Tree

Long before this issue with the tree and the development came along we had found the picture of the tree in a 1962 photo posted by the www.PhillyHistory.org.  Here you can see the tree and even in 1962 it was pretty big and we estimate at least 20 years old.  During our walks around the neighborhood, many older residents have said they remember the tree from when they were kids and they are in their 80’s. Permission was granted by www.PhillyHistory.org to share these images with you.  The picture below can be found at http://www.phillyhistory.org/PhotoArchive/Detail.aspx?assetId=71801

Tree in 1962 on manton and 2nd
Tree in 1962 on Manton and 2nd

Neighbors commented during our petition walk about that they remember swinging on the old tree in the 60’s and landing on old mattresses in the empty lot.  We are hoping to get some stories for another post.

Here are some additional pictures from around the neighborhood in 1962.

Please don’t forget to sign and share our petition to save small open spaces in new developments in Philadelphia.
https://www.change.org/p/councilman-mark-squilla-save-old-2-st-tree

https://www.change.org/p/councilman-mark-squilla-save-old-2-st-tree
https://www.change.org/p/councilman-mark-squilla-save-old-2-st-tree

The Tree Brings Neighbors Out for a Night Out

Neighbors and Friends Out for a Night Out Under the Tree and a Movie

Trees can be amazing neighborhood builders.  Our efforts to discuss development, open space, zoning, trees and development have brought out the neighbors for a night out.  On Saturday, July 23, 2016 about 30 plus neighbors and friends sat with the tree in the background and had Ice Treats and watched the movie The Lorax.

Everyone loved the movie night and we got more signatures from friends and neighbors for the petition.

A special Thanks goes out to the Friends of Jefferson Park (https://www.facebook.com/groups/FriendsofJeffersonSquarePark/) for loaning the equipment and Chris of D’Emilio’s Old World Ice Treats for stopping by and providing Ice Treats.  It is great when we can support local neighborhood business (https://www.facebook.com/OldWorldIceTreats/)

We learned a lot about holding block parties and getting a permit for the party. We included a link to Philadelphia’s online Block party permitting application

https://secure.phila.gov/Streets/BlockParty/

Some key points is that the weekends are easier to get and cost less than weekdays and that the signature for the permit has to live on the block.  Owning the corner property does not count.  Everyone on the block was great and very supportive of the event and pretty much all signed the petition.  We only missed people if they were not home.  We also learned that even the Friends of the Parks have to get permits for their events.  Go figure that one out!

Why the Lorax?

Well, when we were researching the movie “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”, we saw this movie The Lorax and it was a perfect movie.  From Wikiepedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lorax)

The Lorax is a children’s book written by Dr. Seuss. It chronicles the plight of the environment and the Lorax, who speaks for the trees against the Once-ler. As in most Dr. Seuss works, most of the creatures mentioned are original to the book.

The book is commonly recognized as a fable concerning the danger corporate greed poses to nature, using the literary element of personification to give life to industry as the Once-ler and the environment as The Lorax.

This was perfect movie for adults and kids showing how greed and over development can easily wipe all the trees off the neighborhood.

Here is a clip link:

If you are interested in playing movies for public consumption there are basically two places to go to and you have to purchase the movie license for the night.

We got the Lorax license to play the movie from Swank.com (http://www.swank.com/)

We are still thinking about the other movie and that can be licensed from Criterion Pictures USA (http://www.criterionpicusa.com/)

Please don’t forget to sign and share our petition to save small open spaces in new developments in Philadelphia.
https://www.change.org/p/councilman-mark-squilla-save-old-2-st-tree

https://www.change.org/p/councilman-mark-squilla-save-old-2-st-tree
https://www.change.org/p/councilman-mark-squilla-save-old-2-st-tree

Neighborhood Showing of the Lorax

We are a Go!

for showing the movie The Lorax

Saturday, July 23, 2016 after dark (est. 9pm) with a rain date of Sun 7/24 we are showing the movie The Lorax (© Universal Studios).  We will have petitions for neighbors and visitors to sign in support of the tree.

Location the corner of South 2nd Street and Manton Streets outside along side the tree.

The Lorax © Universal Studios
The Lorax © Universal Studios

The event is free. More info to come

We hope the neighbors get a feeling for what life is like with out trees and then how much they loss if they all get cut down.

Isn’t it amazing as to what a tree can do, to bring a neighborhood together.

Signed the Big Old Tree

Why the Tree is at Risk

Our 80-plus year old tree is in danger from development plans on an adjacent lot that is just too small for building or living, 14ft wide x 20ft deep. The design calls for a 3 story trinity house which would force cutting almost half the branches. If the shock doesn’t kill the tree, it would still be unbalanced, posing the danger of falling toward our house or neighbor’s properties,

The plan is coming before the Philadelphia Zoning Board soon. Hopefully, they will see that the lot is too small for the suggested plan. However, if the Philadelphia Zoning Board releases the lot’s owner from the open space requirements, our tree will be destroyed.
Here is a summary of our discussion with the lot’s owner/developer so far:
  • In our very first encounter (Early 2015) before he purchased the lot, we told him the lot would not be worth it. There was no way the local area was going to permit a curb cut for a garage, because they just turned down similar requests to larger houses down the street.
  • The next encounter (Saturday 5/16/2015): The gentleman approached saying that he bought the lot property next to our house and said he was going to build upon it. I told him we would fight any zoning changes for the property use.  Here is one of his comments as it related to the Old Tree:
You are going to have to get the tree off my property side when I build my work shed.
  • That’s when we asked our tree company to trim up the tree as much as possible to get room for the developer. Our Arborist said that if they take away that big branch, we will have to take away the entire tree for safety.
  • We heard nothing for a year, until Friday night (6/3/2016), when the developer posted a notice for a zoning meeting on Tuesday 6/7/2016. This left us one weeknight to circulate a petition among the neighbors. In less than 2 hours we got 47 signatures Against the Zoning Relief!
  • At the Pennsport Civic Association Zoning meeting (Tuesday, 6/7/2016), the Developer said:
If the tree is on my side, I can trim that, correct?
  • After the 6/7 meeting, we figured the next meeting would be on August 3, 2016 with the Philadelphia Zoning Board in downtown Philly. However, we got another late Friday night (6/17/2016) notice for a meeting on Tuesday 6/21/2016. A bunch of neighbors were complaining about the late notice, and how only a few people could make the meeting.
  • At the next Pennsport Civic Association Zoning meeting on Tuesday 6/21/2016, I mentioned that we had the arborist clean up the tree as far above his lot as possible. The Developer replied:
Did you get a quote for cutting down the tree?
We don’t want our tree to be cut down! It is one of the oldest, tallest trees remaining in our neighborhood of South Philly.  The Big Tree helps
  • Our Neighbors, by cleaning the atmosphere and providing shade for people and animals  (see our post: OLD 2ST TREE BENEFIT CALCULATOR )
    Possum visits the Old Tree
    Possum visits the Old Tree May 10, 2016

    Dog and Boy playing Under the Old Tree
    Big Dog and Boy playing Under the Old Tree
  • Families, as there are so few Big Trees for the kids to see every day
  • Wildlife, as this is a great place for birds and even hawks to rest as they migrate, plus small mammals like to visit every once in awhile. (see our category of posts BIG TREES AND ANIMALS )
Help us save this tree by signing our petition, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest updates.
Thank you for your time and support.

Save Old 2St Tree.org with our Change.org Petition

This petition will be in addition to hand petitions we are circulating with the immediate neighbors, local neighborhoods and others in Philadelphia.

Click on the Image Below to Read and Sign the Petition

Thank You
Signed the Big Old 2 St Tree

Please don’t forget to sign and share our petition to save small open spaces in new developments in Philadelphia.
https://www.change.org/p/councilman-mark-squilla-save-old-2-st-tree

https://www.change.org/p/councilman-mark-squilla-save-old-2-st-tree
https://www.change.org/p/councilman-mark-squilla-save-old-2-st-tree

Bubbles and Heart Watching Birds

4 Month old sister kittens, Bubbles and Heart, watching the birds in the Big Old 2St Tree.  They are rescues from a neighbor in Queens Village.  They love sitting in the stairs and looking out the window at the birds in the tree.