- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 16, 2015

SPRING LAKE, Mich. (AP) - The Spring Lake Village Council rejected the school district’s request to cut down an old tree next to the middle school after many community members came out in favor of saving it.

The council voted Monday to deny the request after students and residents talked about what the tree meant to them, the Grand Haven Tribune reported (https://bit.ly/1Sl6Kmg ). A “Save Our Tree” rally was held last week.

Spring Lake High School senior Sydney Dillen told the council that adults encourage recycling in school to save trees, then design plans that include cutting one down.

“This tree is a landmark and that can’t be argued,” Dillen said. “Killing this tree would be like killing an older relative.”

The district plans to build a pick-up and drop-off lane. Plans call for excavating at least 11 feet down. Schools superintendent Dennis Furton has said the tree likely will die from root disturbance and lack of water.

Current construction plans likely will cause significant damage to the tree’s root system, arborist Brian Kwiatkowski told the council. Kwiatkowski is contracted by the council.

The council wants the arborist to observe the tree’s root system during construction in hopes of taking steps to lessen the damage.

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Information from: Grand Haven Tribune, https://www.grandhaventribune.com

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