Neighbors Win Battle To Keep Trees, Halt Planned School Renovation

BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — A possible victory for one local community in their contentious battle over trees. Baltimore County schools have agreed to halt plans to destroy a dozen trees in Rodgers Forge for an upcoming school renovation project.

Christie Ileto has more.

Plans to chop nearly a dozen centuries-old trees to make room for a multi-million dollar renovation to Dumbarton Middle School are now on hold.

“I would definitely say there’s no set plan right now,” said Mychael Dickerson.

Baltimore County school district says a “soon to be formed” workgroup of school and community members will draw up revised plans.

Right now, the space where the trees stand is used by families in the community for recreation in the Rodgers Forge neighborhood.

“We’re cautiously optimistic,” said Kevin Schuab.

Schuab is one of the community members who has been rallying for Tuesday’s decision—but he says he’s not entirely sold.

“While the school system says the project is on hold, no permits have been rescinded so technically the school system could come onto the property at any time and remove 35 trees,” he said.

Residents say they’re not against the school expansion, just the design itself, including the removal of nearly a dozen trees and the expansion of the back parking lot.

Emotions ran high at a community meeting with the school earlier in the day. There were nine trees originally in question, later revised to six.

“We clearly want to bring the community representatives to the table to look at what we need to do for the school and the project to move forward,” said Dickerson.

Plans both sides hope will be fair for everyone at the table.

The school system has a permit to remove 35 trees at Dumbarton Middle School. For more information, click here.

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