As the My Ballard team reported on Tuesday, a protest was organized for 12 p.m. this afternoon to oppose the removal of a group of mature cherry trees at the unused Loyal Heights Substation at 7750 28th Ave NW.
We received an email from My Ballard reader Laura, confirming that City Light crews (pictured) arrived at about 10:30 a.m. this morning and cut down the trees before the planned protest started.
Many locals were angered over what appears to be a pre-emptive tree removal and decided to move forward with the protest as planned at noon. “City light got there first,” says protest attendee Jay.
According to Seattle City Light, the soil in the area has been tested and found to contain levels of the banned pesticide dieldrin at 70 times higher than state-mandated cleanup levels. In order to replace the soil, City Light confirmed that the trees needed to be removed.
“There is simply too much ground beneath them to remove without taking those trees out,” Scott Thomsen of City Light told KIRO 7 News.
According to KIRO 7, City Light confirmed that some cedar trees on the property will be able to be saved through the technique of vactoring as their roots do not run as deep as the cherry trees. (During the vactoring process soil is vacuumed out around roots and replaced.)
At this stage there is no plan for the future of the property, however, many locals fear that the land will be sold to developers.
We will keep readers updated when more information about the property comes to light.
Photos courtesy of Jay and Laura.