TREASURE ISLAND, Fla. — The large tree in the center of Roselli Park’s playground is here to stay – for at least another week.

What You Need To Know

  • Treasure Island planned to remove the large tree at Roselli Park to build an ADA playground
  • Residents climbed the tree on Monday to block the tree removal company from taking it down
  • The city will now hold a meeting on December 15 about the issue

It was supposed to be taken down on Monday to make room for a new playground, after Treasure Island City Commissioners approved the project in October. The plan would make room for a new Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant playground. 

But, when residents learned the tree was being taken down, they went to the park Monday morning and climbed it. When the tree removal company arrived, they refused to come down.

The city is now holding off on removing the tree.

The Recreation Director tells Spectrum Bay News 9 there will be a meeting on December 15th so residents can express their thoughts about the project. She says no residents expressed opposition prior to the initial vote. 

“We haven’t been able to play on the playground for a really long time because of COVID, so now they’re going to take it away? When we had no idea that was even going to happen so the people who come here all the time didn’t have a voice in the matter,” resident Courtney Potter said. The commission meeting was public, but Potter and other parents say they were not informed about a plan being in the works to change the playground. 

Potter posted on Facebook when she found out the tree was being taken down. Others joined her at the playground Monday morning to try to save the tree from being torn down. Many said they remembered climbing the tree as children, and now their kids love playing on it. 

Commissioner Tyler Payne says he expressed concerns during the meeting when the project was being discussed because he grew up in the city and knows people love the tree. He says the project is costing more than $162,000, and he feels that money could be better used to help some of the deficits created by the pandemic. He ultimately ended up voting in favor of the project, as every other commissioner did.

If you want to share your thoughts about the tree and new playground, the meeting is at 6 p.m. on December 15 in the city hall auditorium. 

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