Green Day: Baltimore to Plant Promised Grand Prix Trees at Taxpayers’ Treat

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We didn’t think we’d see the (green) day, but Baltimore City earlier this month commissioned a contractor to plant 150 trees in (or near) those downtown plots the Baltimore Racing Development group had plucked bare but guaranteed to replenish. These 150 trees – bankrupt Baltimore Racing has officially stiffed us on the 198 they promised – are worth $41,500 according to Erik Dihle, city forester, as reported by Tim Wheeler in The Baltimore Sun.

Just as this pricy plan comes as fresh dig to us at Baltimore Fishbowl, citizen activist (and tree-hugging lawsuit-filer) David Troy’s also surprised. He told The Sun he’s pleased that trees are being planted, but ticked by the taxpayers’ burden.

“The thing that everybody was also annoyed about and afraid of was that taxpayers were going to end up footing the bills for this,” he said, “and that’s exactly what has happened.”Beth Strommen, director of the city’s office of Sustainability, has expressed unrealistic-seeming hope that cost of the plantings may be reimbursed by the new Grand Prix group. Since they’ve already missed some key planning deadlines, we say to Strommen, “Doubtful!” But like Troy, we’re glad to see more shade-stretching trees come to be, even if the green comes out of our own pockets.

How do you feel about the prospect, readers?

 



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