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I've posted a few pieces about the ongoing saga of the McClellan old-growth forest in West Orange, NJ, which Seton Hall Prep and the Archdiocese of Newark want to turn in to something "productive", like baseball fields, rather than what it is now, which is a possible home for endangered animals.

Save the Trees

Saving the Trees...and maybe the bats

Working to Save our Environment

This is an update.  The photo on the right shows the remnants of the deceased 90-year old Japanese Yew.  More on the story inside.

There is more recent news.  On May 23, an historical report was submitted which outlines the ownership of the property and also states that the gardens created in the 1920s were designed by the Olmstead Brothers, sons of the father of American landscape architecture and designer of Central Park, Frederick Law Olmstead.  It is also apparently the burial place of General, New Jersey Governor, and Presidential Nominee George Brinton McClellan's horse, Daniel Webster...which was more commonly known as that devil Dan, since he was so fast that none of McClellan's aides could keep up with him.  McClellan and Dan are pictured in the painting to the left.  I believe the painting is supposed to depict McClellan riding at night amongst the troops at Antietam.  There is belief that the site should be added to the National Register of Historic Places.

On May 27 the attorney for those who have been fighting against the development, Herb Waldman, was touring the site with an expert from the Olmstead Foundation when they happened upon some construction equipment and two dead 90-year old Japanese Yews.  The lawyer rushed town officials to the site.  The assistant headmaster of Seton Hall Prep "shrugged off the event".

They had been digging "test pits."  That they deliberately chose to cut down historic trees is rather suspect.

The action is a violation of town ordinances and, given that there is ongoing legal and civic action taking place in re: this property, a violation of common decency, civility, and due process...as well as being a crime against the environment.

Originally posted to Robyn's Perch on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 09:39 AM PDT.

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