After heated debate in College Park, Prince George’s County halts tree work

Multiple College Park council members and residents spoke out against the tree trimming turned tree removal near the College Park Airport at the College Park City Council meeting at Davis Hall on Feb. 25, 2020. (Suze Creedon/The Diamondback)

After a heated discussion at a College Park city council meeting last month, “tree trimming” around the College Park Airport has been halted. 

The airport’s manager, Lee Sommer, said at a Feb. 25 council meeting that the “tree trimming” project was an attempt to increase safety measures for pilots flying at night. But instead of pruning the trees, over 250 trees were removed. 

The next day, the city was notified that the Prince George’s County Parks and Recreation Department had discontinued tree work for the time being, according to Councilman Fazlul Kabir’s blog, adding that Prince George’s County Councilwoman Danielle Glaros had stepped in. 

Glaros had previously requested suspension of the project, Kabir wrote in his blog, but after the city’s meeting with airport officials last month, Glaros requested that measures for erosion control and stream bank stabilization be taken where trees had already been removed. 

“Nobody wants this airport to be in a hazard,” said Dr. John Lea-Cox, the city forester and a member of the Tree and Landscape Board, at the meeting. “But I do really question the aggressive tree removal that has been occurring.”

When airport officials met with the city council last month, many of the council members expressed frustration with the airport officials, saying they felt misled by the project. Many said they were upset with the lack of regard to the stormwater management system and surrounding habitats. 

But for now, the project has been halted until “further review,” according to Kabir’s blog. 

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