More than 300 people petition National Grid not to cut down trees in Providence

Fox Point residents are angry over a plan to cut down three trees near the waterfront to make room for upgrades to the electrical system.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Fox Point residents are angry over a plan to cut down three trees near the waterfront to make room for upgrades to the electrical system.

Three London plane trees have been a fixture on South Main Street in Providence for over 50 years. But soon they’ll be gone.

National Grid is in the process of replacing the transmission lines that run under the trees, and getting rid of the manhole covers.

“I think we need to stop putting economic needs over the health of the environment,” said resident Chad Nelson.

Hundreds of people signed a petition to keep the cut from going forward, including Nelson. But he thinks it may not matter.

“From everything I understand it will go forward,” said Nelson.

The petition argues that the trees act as air and acoustic filters, as well as providing shade and beauty to the area.

“I think it’s really important to have an environmental concern in the city because there’s so much trash and pollution that’s happening right now, especially by the river,” said Providence resident Amanda Mellor.

A spokesperson for National Grid tells ABC 6, leaving the trees would create a safety hazard for workers, and the public once the work is finished.

The spokesperson said the company will also be planting additional replacement trees throughout the city, though Nelson says that won’t replace 50+ year old trees.

“I plan on being here in person on the day of the cut if necessary,” said Nelson. “I’ll do what I can including putting myself in the way of the cutting of the trees if that’s what has to happen.”

As of now the trees will be removed within the next few weeks.

Categories: News, Providence, Rhode Island