Protesters Hold ‘Vigil’ For Trees On Chopping Block

By Jeff Todd

DENVER (CBS4)– It wasn’t a normal protest, in fact, organizers called it a “vigil” for the trees just days away from execution.

“Every tree counts,” said Pat Defay.

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“It’s a real death. It’s a death for the park system,” said Christine O’Connor. “We’re here to mourn the fact that the city made this decision.”

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A few dozen people showed up on the first day the City Park Golf Course closed for two years. The $300 million Platte To Park Hill Project has survived legal trials and numerous protests.

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It will reconstruct the City Park Golf Course to hold flood waters. The city says it’s a necessary project to protect homes and neighborhoods.

Opponents don’t agree.

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“If you really adhere to the belief that trees help with environmental sustainability you don’t chop down ones that are doing a damn good job,” said O’Connor.

“The city keeps changing the reasoning and I’m not sure we’re hearing the correct story,” said Defay.

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“I think City Park Golf Course is a very important green space in our community and I’ve been working hard to save the trees in this area,” said Rachel Garfield. “There are so many uses for this area and we’re going to lose that for two years. At this point we’re asking for a redesign in the project to hopefully.”

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The city says fencing will soon surround the golf course and then construction will begin. There is no date for when the trees will start getting cut down.

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Opponents of the project are hoping a Federal lawsuit could put a stop to the project.

Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.

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