Neighborhood members gathered at Folks’s Park on Sunday to honor the bushes that had been lower down throughout the first day of UC Berkeley’s scholar housing development operation on the park Aug. 3.

The occasion started with a morning artwork session to brighten a memorial to the park’s redwoods and palm bushes and the garden’s fruit bushes that had been lower down. Greater than 100 neighborhood members assembled on the park within the afternoon for the memorial, a number of partaking in singing, dancing and open-mics.

“We’re doing artwork,” mentioned June Nelson, a campus graduate, throughout the occasion. “There’s additionally going to be an indication in opposition to Knowledgeable Tree Providers, the subcontractor that the UC paid to chop down all of the bushes, to inform them to finish their contract with the college and to go away Folks’s Park alone.”

In accordance with Nelson, no less than 47 bushes had been lower down throughout the early morning operation, damaging a “entire ecosystem” on the park that included redtail hawks, uncommon chicken species and several other squirrel nests.

Neighborhood member Elisa Smith mentioned most of the felled bushes had been planted in reminiscence of neighborhood members who advocated for the park up to now and that activists have organized to construct altars on the bushes’ stumps. Nelson famous that she noticed individuals “sobbing” after the chopping of sure symbolic bushes.

“Every tree has a narrative,” Smith mentioned on the occasion. “We planted one 20 years in the past for my mother from Redwood Metropolis, and that one was lower too.”

In current weeks, neighborhood members have organized to protect the standing apple and orange bushes and to plant “meals for the neighborhood.” One particular person was watering three not too long ago planted redwoods — every a few yr previous.

Through the open-mic portion of the memorial, individuals expressed help for Folks’s Park, voicing tales in regards to the park, reciting songs, praying and dancing.

“What number of lovely fruit bushes had been killed? Rather a lot,” mentioned native resident Lurch Morrison as they surveyed the park’s garden. “There was a cherry tree, a peach tree, a pomegranate tree, a plum tree, a fig tree, an elderberry tree and extra.”

Whereas she doesn’t agree with campus’s strategy to the state of affairs at Folks’s Park, campus junior Cecilia Lunaparra acknowledged the necessity to tackle the native housing scarcity. She added she was in opposition to development at Folks’s Park and famous different plots of land the college has out there for improvement.

Campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof maintained in a current native radio discussion board that to handle the present lack of scholar housing, campus should develop on all out there properties in shut proximity to campus.

Though Lunaparra mentioned she was saddened as a result of chopping of the bushes and its aftermath, she expressed optimism in regards to the neighborhood gathering.

“The memorial was lovely,” Lunaparra mentioned. “It was nice to see the neighborhood coming collectively. Seeing individuals who actually, actually care about this inexperienced area.”

Contact Victor Corona and Ananya Rupanagunta at [email protected].

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