Protests Prompt Ministry To Agree to Spare Some Trees

January 19, 2007

After a small group of neighbors and environmentalists protested a road-widening project that called for the removal of 150 trees south of La Sabana Park in western San José, it appears that one-third of the trees will be saved.

On Dec. 20, representatives of the Costa Rican Federation for Conservation (FECON) and the Institute for Tropical Architecture were joined by nearby residents in protesting plans to widen the small street that runs parallel to the highway on La Sabana’s south side. According to Mauricio Alvarez, of FECON, the Tropical Architecture Institute submitted an alternative proposal to planners from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MOPT) that would save the trees by moving the road the other direction, onto parking spaces in front of the businesses on the other side of the street.

Though the ministry rejected the idea, protestors’ pleas apparently did not fall on deaf ears. Vice-Minister of Public Works and Transport Pedro Castro told The Tico Times last week that planners redid the project to save as many of the trees as possible, approximately one-third.

“Possibly, we are going to be cutting 100 trees,” Castro said. “But they are going to plant another group of trees.”

The vice-minister assured that the project is “environmentally friendly” and would include either planting new trees, possibly in a preserved green area between the widened street and the train tracks, or moving the existing ones.

 

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