The war between tree lovers and view seekers continues. The Seattle Parks and Recreation Department has a new plan for planting trees along lovely Lake Washington Boulevard. Under the proposed plan, 80 percent of what anyone would see with a bird's eye view of undeveloped parkland on the boulevard, from the south end of the Washington Park Arboretum to Seward Park, would be canopies of branches and leaves. Parks Department Urban Forester Katie Moeller doesn't know exactly what the so-called "canopy cover" is now, but she says it is "significantly less" than 80 percent. The as-yet unfunded plan has provoked a lot of argument in a series of ongoing meetings, as tree advocates confront the residents across the street from the boulevard who don't want their view obstructed.
Meanwhile, though, a rally in front of City Hall is planned for tomorrow by diehard tree activists who feel the city is not doing enough for the "urban forest." A coalition dubbed the Seattle Urban Forest Stakeholders will be protesting a variety of laments, including what it says is the lack of adequate funding to maintain existing trees and the actual removal of trees in several parks. A week or so ago, the Parks Department cut down an ageing but beloved Weeping Willow in Wedgewood's Dahl Playfield, saying that the tree was dangerous due to its dropping branches. Mayor Greg Nickels has recently launched a big push to plant more trees throughout the city. But Wedgwood tree activist Richard Ellison says the mayor is "cutting down great big trees, then replacing them with little twigs."