Louisiana: Help us save Big AL

NEW IBERIA — “Mr. Al,” a 150-year-old oak just outside New Iberia
near the Lydia community along U.S. 90, surely holds memories for many
across Iberia Parish. But the old oak may be facing sure death next
year when the Department of Transportation and Development plans to
build a service road near Freyou Road. And Mr. Al, with a
104-foot-wide canopy spread, is “right in the way of their plans,”
said Kelli Peltier, who can see the oak — which is a member of the
prestigious Live Oak Society — from the home she lives in with
Nicholas, her husband. She named the oak after her grandfather, who
died last month.

But Mr. Al won’t go quietly, not if the Optimist Club
of New Iberia has any say. The club is trying to save the venerable
oak from the chopping block. Privately, Optimist Club members,
nonmembers and general tree-loving residents know it’s a long shot.
Still, Peltier, Optimist President Susan Hester Edmunds and dozens of
others are trying and have even set up a Facebook page for Mr. Al.
Find it through optimistclubofni@gmail.com or skb8721@gmail.com.
They’ve also sent a letter to DOTD engineer Bill Fontenot, who has
promised to look into the situation. There’s even the drastic option
of transplanting the tree to an area park.

Posted via email from Deane’s posterous

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