Miami residents protest tree removal on Brickell Avenue

Residents demonstrate, look to take legal action to stop beautification, sidewalk expansion project


Fewer trees are now on the chopping block, but residents are still demonstrating to save trees along Brickell Avenue.

The residents that demonstrated Tuesday evening claim that the city is moving forward with its $1.5 million beautification project without the proper permits.

Hundreds of taxpayers also attended a town hall information meeting where city officials took questions about removing 70, instead of 75, trees either deemed unhealthy or overcrowded in the median.

"We are not adding more trees to create crowding," said William Plasencia, Liaison for Dist. 2 Comm. Marc Sarnoff's Office. "If anything, we're spreading out the canopy to allow more trees to grow in a planned way."

The city removed the first 45 trees earlier this month.

Residents are now planning to take legal action to stop the project, which would also include tree replacement to maintain the shade canopy, 10,000 flowering plants and shrubs, plus irrigation systems and wider sidewalks by Thanksgiving.

"We have basically very little faith in the plans of the city," said Diego Echeverria. "Since they cut the trees, we have reviewed the plan that they have in place. It's very difficult to replace wonderful trees that had been here standing for 40, 50 years."

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