November theft of trees from Southwoods Park

Sunday, March 28, 2010

By Janet Way, Of Paramount Importance
In November 2009, at least 16 significant trees were cut in Shoreline's Southwoods Park.

The incident took place originally in November 2009. On Thanksgiving, a citizen observed trees being removed from the park by at least two individuals, a truck loaded with logs leaving the Shorecrest Parking lot next to Southwoods. This new park was created with funds from the 2006 Shoreline Parks Bond, after many years of advocacy from citizens to protect the nearly 16 acre site which is an unusually large forested area, formerly owned by Shoreline Schools ad Shoreline Water District.

The witness had taken down the license plate # of the truck and noted that many of the trees were freshly cut near the main trail crossing the park.

So, on Thanksgiving Day, Charlie and Bettelinn Brown called to report the incident to the KC Sheriff's office and a deputy came out to their home to discuss what happened. Charlie had walked the park and counted at least 16 stumps and sawdust showing recent cutting of the logs nearby. The Sheriff's Deputy investigated and spoke to the witness.

Apparently, the license plate check revealed that the plate was stolen. So City staff and police have been unable to identify the perpetrators of this theft.

You can see by the above photo depicting SWPG member Charlie Brown demonstrating the size of this tree which was cut, that this was a very deliberate and significant theft of our publicly owned trees, which were of a very "significant" size. This particular double trunk tree appears to have been about 2-3 ft in circumfrance. (Charlie is holding up a "weed wrench" on loan from the City to measure the size of this tree cut. These devices are available to citizens who would like to remove such weeds as Holly or Scots Broom).

We attended an "Ivy Out" event at Southwoods last weekend and photographed the damage and also witnessed the dedicated work of SWPG (South Woods Preservation Group) and neighbors who have been doing careful stewardship work there for the last 5 years, to remove invasive plants such as English Ivy, English Holly, Himilayan Blackberry, Laurel hedge and other invasive plants which had taken over a large percentage of this park property over the last 50 years. The Ivy and Holly are especially destructive, by crowding out natives and smothering the native growth there.

If anyone has information about this incident, please call the Shoreline Police Department and/or Shoreline Parks Director Dick Deal 206-801-2630 or Parks Maintenance Superintendent Kirk Peterson 206-801-2610 and report it.
Shoreline Police Station
1206 N 185th St
Shoreline, WA 98133
After Hours: Call 911 or non-emergency 206-296-3311
Office Hours:  Monday - Friday 8:30 am to 5 pm

Or, if you ever witness any similar incidents of tree cutting or vandalism, please report them to the City and Police.

All trees in Parks are protected under the City's care, though if a tree should be deemed a "hazardous tree" it can be removed by City staff. Please help us care for our parks. Citizens are the "eyes and ears" for City staff. If you see something, say something.

These trees belong to the taxpayers and residents of Shoreline.  Vandalism is a crime YOU can help solve by reporting incidents and documenting what happened. Thanks for caring.

Photos and article courtesy Of Paramount Importance


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