Neighborhood advocates concerned about the removal of 200 trees to make way for a parking deck to service Zoo Atlanta scored a victory this month.
According to Save the Trees of Grant Park, Inc., “Mayor Kasim Reed has agreed to temporarily halt the Grant Park Gateway Project construction.”
The mayor’s office confirmed the news in an email to Atlanta Loop.
“Although the Tree Commission ruled in the City’s favor, Councilmember Carla Smith asked the Mayor for more time to see if a compromise on the number of trees that needed to be replaced could be found,” a spokesperson for the city said.
The spokesperson said “there’s no timeline right now” for when the dispute could be resolved.
Support for the trees has grown into a full-fledged movement, with the Save the Trees of Grant Park becoming a nonprofit organization, 501(c)3 application pending.
“Save the Trees of Grant Park, Inc. aims to save as many trees as possible from unnecessary removal with two appeals with the Atlanta Tree Commission, and a third pending in Superior Court,” the group said in a press release. “Save the Trees of Grant Park, Inc. is growing its presence with a change.org petition, garnering over 4,000 signatures, a website featuring a video produced by a former National Geographic producer, and a Facebook page that has attracted 611 followers in just over two weeks.”
Plans for the 1,000 space parking garage include a restaurant, an outdoor greenspace and a rain water retention system, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.