Lower Merion residents gathered ahead of the Lower Merion Zoning Hearing Board meeting to protest the plans by Lower Merion School District to turn a slice of green space in Villanova into playing fields for the new middle school, writes Richard Ilgenfritz for the Main Line Media News.
Neighbors want to protect hundreds of old-growth trees they say are home to a large number of bird species and other wildlife.
Their removal would devastate the local fauna.
“Cutting down 500 mature trees is not in the children’s long-term best interests,” said resident John Willis. “It is our responsibility to preserve and maximize our resources; it is our responsibility to operate sustainably.”
The protestors said there are other issues with the playing fields proposal, including the safety of residents and students.
Instead of turning it into playing fields, they would like to see the site preserved.
One possibility is to use it as an educational resource, from teaching students about water runoff to many types of engineering.
Neighbors have submitted an official appeal to the zoning board. While it is pending, the district cannot move ahead with its plans.
Read more about the Lower Merion green space issue in Main Line Media News.