Your Views: A precedent exists for saving a historic Alexandria tree

Your Views: A precedent exists for saving a historic Alexandria tree
(Photo: Missy Schrott)

To the editor:

Reading the article in the July 30 Alexandria Times regarding ACPS’ intent to take down a 150-year-old oak tree in order to build a concession stand and bathroom as a part of the Parker Gray Memorial Stadium modernization project brought back similar memories.

Many of you know about my dearly departed wife’s tree known as the “Julie Crenshaw Tree.” It came about when the new Woodrow Wilson Bridge was about to be built. The contractors intended to cut down all the trees within its path. Julie took exception and argued that one huge, 100-year-old maple in Jones Park near the Potomac River should remain.

In her indomitable, characteristic fashion she lobbied to save that tree. She did save the tree. However, the tree is no longer standing. Yvonne Weight Callahan and The Old Town Civic Association tied a bow and ribbon around the tree, some 28 feet of ribbon.

They also placed a placard on the tree that read: “In memory of Julie Crenshaw Van Fleet who fought and won the battle to preserve this tree. Julie’s decade of work to preserve and maintain Jones Point Park will be remembered by her friends and colleagues. Julie died on December 18, 2013 after a long battle against cancer, rest in peace Julie.”

My advice to those who wish to save the tree at T.C. Williams is to continue to relentlessly address the issue before City Council. Only an intense lobbying effort will result in retaining the tree.

-Townsend A. “Van” Van Fleet, Alexandria