One hundred trees along Seaman’s Neck Road are on the chopping block. On July 30, the Nassau County Department of Public Works began a sidewalk improvement project that requires the canopy of trees along Seaman’s Neck Road in North Wantagh to be removed.
“I’m upset. It doesn’t make sense to take all these trees down,” said Ivy Green, of North Wantagh. “I walk here every morning, under this beautiful canopy and now they want to change the character of the neighborhood.”
Green said many people walk the stretch of road because of its beauty and shade. “They are changing the environment, not to mention what they are doing to the wildlife that lives in the trees,” said Green.
However, Michael Martino, spokesman for the Nassau County Department of Public Works, said “the community has long been requesting the county repair the many broken sidewalks along Seaman’s Neck Road.” Broken and missing pieces of sidewalk, along the west side of Seaman’s Neck Road, run from Jerusalem Avenue all the way north to the Southern State Parkway. Sidewalks will be repaired along a one-mile stretch just south of parkway.
The 30- to 40-foot-tall oak trees being removed have deep and wide spreading root systems that typically lift sidewalks. “The trees will have to be removed due to massive root damage caused by the installation of new sidewalks,” Martino said. “This damage could weaken the tree and cause another dangerous situation.”
But Green said she doesn’t care about the broken sidewalks. “Let the sidewalk go up and down,” she said. “Let’s call it a tree hill and put up signs that say ‘watch where you’re walking’ and leave it alone.”
Martino said the county typically replaces trees it has to remove. “The new trees are about 10 feet tall,” he said although he didn’t know what kind of trees would be planted.
“It will take another 30 to 40 years for the trees to create another tree tunnel like the one they are cutting down,” Green said. “It is scary to think how man is ruining the earth.”
Meanwhile, further down Seaman’s Neck Road in Seaford, another road improvement project is underway. This project, under the auspices of The Town of Hempstead, will repair Seaman’s Neck Road, south of Jerusalem Avenue to Clark Avenue. This project will repair the road and curbs only. No sidewalk repairs are planned and no trees will be removed. Town of Hempstead spokesperson Susie Trenkle-Pokalsky said the project is expected to be completed by the end of August.