Parents in Valley Village battle school district over tree removal

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Construction to add new classrooms at Colfax Elementary comes with tree removal, and a group of parents have launched a petition drive to save the remaining trees. (KABC)

The history of Colfax Elementary is literally rooted in the trees on campus. Before it was a school, the site was an arboretum, and more than 100 trees still there were part of it.

Today, there's construction to add new classrooms, and with that comes tree removal.

"Having had a child at the school, in the summer, they need the shade from the trees," Christine Turner-Sage, who lives across the street from the school, said. "They play under the trees in the shade and hacking them down is not going to help the school."

Earlier this week, 19 trees were cut down, and 44 are scheduled to be removed. The most upsetting was the removal of the school's mascot tree, which used to be in the center of campus.

A group of parents have launched a petition drive to save the remaining trees. The district has stopped the tree removal for now.

District officials, concerned parents and neighbors are scheduled to meet next week to see if they can work something out.

"It's really fun to be around the trees," Emerson Cunningham, who just graduated from Colfax said. "They provide oxygen for the kids who come. It's just heartbreaking to see it."

"We also do understand that some of the trees are old and at the end of their life," parent Sarah Angel, who has two kids attending school at Colfax, said. "And if they could be diseased or losing limbs, we certainly want to protect our children from that."

The meeting between the district and neighborhood is going to take place at Colfax Elementary on Sept. 6th at 6 p.m.
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