Dear Decaturish – Trees along trail through Hidden Cove Park dangerous for students

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt August 1, 2017

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Dear Decaturish,

I am hoping you can help me put pressure on the proper officials to address a very dangerous situation for the Westchester Elementary community and the neighborhood around Hidden Cove Park.

In addition to a dangerously leaning tree along the path to the school, there are also two trees that have fallen across the creek, which many children play on regularly. The trees fell last winter and hover very high above the creek. The “leaning tree” is directly across from them and will fall across the path that dozens of families utilize on a daily basis.

Many parents and residents have alerted city and school authorities multiple times, with little effect. City administrators have dismissed concerns, saying the trees pose “no risk,” yet our city arborist came out last week and put red “danger” tape on the trees. However, she asserted that they are on school property and therefore the school’s responsibility, not the city’s. Principal Lofstrand has alerted school officials, and today I sent emails to school officials, including Superintendent David Dude.

Here are pictures of the offending trees:

Photo provided to Decaturish

Photo provided to Decaturish

Photo provided to Decaturish

Photo provided to Decaturish

While folks squabble over whose responsibility and expense it should be, the cost no doubt will be much higher when lawsuits ensue from deaths or serious injury of those who happen to have the unfortunate luck of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

– Amy Moore

Editor’s note: Following the publication of this letter, Superintendent David Dude sent the author an email saying CSD would shut down the portion of the trail on its property “immediately.” 


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