Louisiana: Big Al is saved!

“In order to save the tree,” Nelson wrote, “we will leave the oak tree
as is and construct a cul-de-sac at each end of the service road and
leave the tree in the middle. This will allow vehicles a means of
being able to turn around, permit access and not disturb the tree.”

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http://www.theadvertiser.com/article/20090220/NEIGHBORHOODS02/902200349

Thanks to the concern of hundreds of people and the ingenuity of the
Louisiana Department of Transportation (LDOTD), “Mr. Al,” a live oak
tree over a century old, has the chance to live another 200 years
rather than be cut down for road construction. The reprieved tree
grows within the US Highway 90 right of way near Freyou Road along the
westbound lane on the banks of a part of the Nelson Canal drainage
system on property once owned by Collins Blanchard. With a trunk
circumference of 20 feet 7 inches and a 104 foot canopy spread, the
massive oak is a registered member of the Louisiana Live Oak Society.
When Kelli Peltier, whose house is near the tree, learned that the old
tree was slated for removal by the LDOTD in order for a service road
to be constructed, she was horrified and began to look around for ways
to stop the tree from being cut down.

“I am amazed to see the amount of people that will stand up for a tree. Thank you LDOTD for reconsidering the destruction of Mr. Al. It’s a beautiful piece of
work that is in my view every day,” said Peltier. “Thanks to ALL who¬† have helped in the fight to save him (Mr. Al)! I am sure this is something my grandfather (after whom the tree is named and who grew up in the nearby Lydia area) would have wanted me to do.” According to a Feb. 13, 2009 letter from Gordon E. Nelson, Assistant Secretary of Operations for the LDOTD to the New Iberia Optimist Club, which was one of the many entities lobbying for “Mr. Al,” it would have “cost $100,000 to relocate the tree and there was no guarantee that the tree would survive this expensive move” and that the cost of “relocating the service road would have substantially increased the cost of the
project.”

Get full text; support writer, producer of the words:
http://www.theadvertiser.com/article/20090220/NEIGHBORHOODS02/902200349

Comments (1)

Jill VickermanFebruary 26th, 2009 at 10:01 am

Thats so good, brilliant…

You must not lose faith in humanity.
Humanity is an ocean. If a few drops of
the ocean are dirty, the ocean does
not become dirty.
— Mahatma Gandhi

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