A group of like-minded local residents banded together and saved more than 200 area trees from the chopping block — for now.
A state judge ordered Nassau County and the Department of Public Works to stop cutting down trees along South Oyster Bay Road, granting a temporary restraining order to a group of residents spearheading an effort to save the trees.
State Supreme Court Judge Antonio Brandveen scheduled a hearing on Thursday, Oct. 16 for the county to address complaints from residents, in particular a group called Operation STOMP (Save Trees Over More Pavement) founded by Hicksville native Tanya Lukasik.
The Public Works department had planned to removed more than 200, 30-foot trees in communities ranging from Plainview, Bethpage, Hicksville and Syosset. Tree removal began in September, with many trees already being brought down. The county’s plan was to remove trees lining county and state roadways from Jericho Turnpike in Syosset to the Long Island Rail Road tracks in Bethpage in order to improve sidewalk safety.
Many residents said they were blindsided by the tree removal and thought there should have been more community input.
“When I saw this happening, my first thought was why on earth are they cutting all these trees down, the street looks so different now,” said Joy Nilsson of Plainview. “What’s wrong with people? They’re cutting every single tree down in the area.”