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Neighbors rally to save boulevard trees on Cass Street



Sometimes road construction and surviving trees don’t go well together.

Neighbors in La Crosse’s Cass Street area are imploring the city to take it easy on boulevard trees during that street’s reconstruction currently underway.

For good reason, says Jessica Olson, who represents the area on the city council.

“You look at West Avenue, when they widened that street, and they lost all those trees going up and down, it forever changed the look and the feel of living on that street,” Olson said.

With the recent loss of thousands of ash trees due to infestation, Olson believes it’s essential to save as many mature trees on the city’s boulevards as possible.

“I think with the losses we’ve incurred, between the ash trees and other things in our city’s past, we have to be sensitive to the importance of the tree canopy in our neighborhood,” Olson said. “If there’s any way possible, we need to save those trees.”

Olson doesn’t see the tradeoff between fixing the street as a good payoff for the hidden cost to the neighborhood of losing those trees.

“There’s that intangible side of what we do and how it affects the quality of life,” she said. “And it might be worth it to take a little extra time or a little extra money to save those trees for the future livability of the neighborhood.”

Olson will join neighbors at 10 a.m. meeting today in City Hall, asking the Board of Public Works to spare the boulevard trees during construction.

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