In order to save the now 73 trees, including an oak that dates back to the Civil War, Bronx preservationists are planning to rally on Saturday. The city claims the trees need to go in order to repair a stretch of road that is notorious for accidents, but locals say the trees are an integral part of the borough's landscape. George Zulch of Pelham Parkway Preservation Alliance told the Post, They keep saying it's [either] safety or the trees, but we say it can be safety and the trees."
The city originally planned on cutting down 87 trees, but Parks Department spokeswoman Vickie Karp said, "We love all trees and are trying to save as many as possible." So far, 50 have been slated for removal to make way for construction, and 23 more "aging" trees may go after that. But protesters say even one tree is too many. Bronx native Regis Philbin previously said on "Live with Regis and Kelly," "Why in the world would they have to remove 87 beautiful mature, lovely trees that have been there for years, and all of my life. And it's going to cost the city—us—$36 million?"
Craig Chin, spokesman for the city Department of Design and Construction, said that they plan on planting 250 seedlings along the road to make up for the trees they plan on cutting down, which sounds like a pretty fair trade. He also insists that "top engineers and arborists" will be examining every tree to make sure removal is absolutely necessary.