Columbia, SC — What an interesting juxtaposition in the Oct. 26 State. In one picture, volunteers are planting trees to beautify Martin Luther King Park. In a separate story, interim Columbia Police Chief Ruben Santiago suggests limbing trees as a safety measure in the same park.
While playing tennis at South East Park recently, I saw this policy in action. My fellow tennis players long had marveled at the large, beautiful cypress that we joked would make a wonderful Christmas tree for the city. Instead, park rangers removed half its branches. The tree never will be the same. When I questioned what was happening, the rangers said it was part of new police guidelines.
Given that the park is bounded by woods, I questioned the future of the wooded areas, which apparently are safe for the moment. I am among those who most fervently hope our city can become safe for all. I don’t think cutting down individual trees is the answer. Will the state Christmas tree be limbed as well?