Inglewood residents express concerns about losing tree shade

One Inglewood resident is concerned about the removal of some trees in her neighborhood and the shade they provide.
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- As we begin to see temperatures rise across Southern California, we're also looking for ways to cool down. One Inglewood resident is concerned about the removal of some trees in her neighborhood and the shade they provide.

Last Friday, Inglewood resident dawn gravely was surprised when she walked out of her home to see workers cutting down trees on her street.

"I live right next to where these trees are," said Dawn Gravely, an Inglewood resident. "One of the trees, directly in front of my home is coming down today."

Her neighbors declined to be interviewed, but Gravely said others also told her they don't want the trees cut down and they made signs that made that clear. One of the signs said 'Please don't chop me down, I provide shade and a barrier to noise and air pollution.'

"They keep it cool here in the summer when as you can see on this block, there's no other shade cover from the sun," Gravely said. "Especially afternoon sun."

Inglewood Councilman Alex Padilla, who oversees the district where the trees are being cut down, said the process is the beginning of a large project called the Centinela avenue improvement project which is taking place on Centinela from La Cienega to Florence.

He said the project has been in the works for years, but had been delayed due to COVID-19.

In a statement he said:

"As part of any major capital improvement project like this we as a city make ourselves available and responsive as this project moves forward. We did community presentations a few years ago so residents could see pictures of what this project would entail. And now that we are in the beginning stages of this project we make ourselves available to address any concerns."

"This is for the wealthy patrons of the SoFi Stadium and the Forum," Gravely. "This isn't for the residents who live here."

In Councilman Padilla's weekly newsletter, he sends notices and updates about the project. In his newsletters, he's explained the project includes planting new trees, re-constructing sidewalks and maintaining and preventing sewage damages from the tree roots.

However, Gravely points out that the new trees are younger, smaller and don't provide nearly as much shade.

"When I spoke to the project manager here this morning, he tried to assure me that they were going to be beautiful and I said 'Sure in about 15 years,'" Gravely said. "In the meantime, we'll all just turn on our air conditioners right in the heat of the day when we're supposed to be conserving energy."

Councilman Padilla said the project is on a temporary hold, while they take into consideration the concerns of the residents. People can contact his office at 310-412-8601.

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