We must speak out to save Frick Park trees

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Trees in Frick Park are about to be bulldozed: at least 95 majestic, mature trees in the most lovely and picturesque part of Frick Woods, around the rustic observation deck.

I am calling on the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy to identify the specific trees it plans to fell, possibly with yellow ribbon tape. Park users should have a chance to see this and contact city council and the mayor to voice their opposition.

According to a parks conservancy brochure, when Henry Clay Frick bequeathed the 150-acre Frick Woods Nature Preserve to the city of Pittsburgh, he stipulated that it “be kept an undeveloped wildlife area.”

How much wildlife will be preserved in a habitat consisting primarily of concrete steps and walkways, an amphitheater, an expanded artificial pond, a barn, a service yard and a greatly expanded parking lot? The conservancy website drawings show the development plans have grown into a monster that threatens to swallow up Frick Woods.

Now the conservancy claims it will replant 195 trees there. Planting trees does not in itself create an ecosystem, which is a complex entity. The trees, moreover, will not mature for many years. And with all the built environment shown there, where would they be able to replant them?

Many people support rebuilding the burned-out environmental center building itself. I support this plan as well and agree that a LEED-certified building in the same footprint would be ideal.

Rebuild the building, but leave the woods intact!

Squirrel Hill

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