Tree planting at contaminated park prompts concern - Fox 2 News Headlines

Tree planting at contaminated park prompts concern

Posted: Updated:
DETROIT (AP) -- The presence of workers in protective suits preparing contaminated parkland in southwest Detroit for tree plantings has upset some residents who have sought for years to have problems at the site addressed.
 
The soil at Bridgeview Park is contaminated with chemicals including arsenic and lead, The Detroit News reported.  Plantings at the park are among many across the city this year by The Greening of Detroit, which says new trees will help remove contamination.
 
On Monday, a dozen residents met with officials from the nonprofit to voice their frustrations, including potential health threats caused by digging, possible increases in the local rodent population and their lack of input on the project.
 
"This is unconscionable -- against humanity," resident Emma Lockridge said. "I say you're doing this only because we're black people. You would never go into Ferndale and do this. You would never go into Southfield and do this, go into a Birmingham playground and just start digging and treating people like guinea pigs."
 
Greening of Detroit said new trees and plants would remove contamination, benefiting the community.
 
"We believe it is very important to build a strong relationship with the communities we work in to ensure they understand and are aware of the purpose of our projects," spokeswoman Trish Hubbell told The Associated Press. "We did not acquire access to the Bridgeview Park until February, and engagement was difficult over the winter months, but we understand and value input from community residents."
 
Greening of Detroit conducted its own soil testing in recent weeks to confirm the property is contaminated, The Detroit News reported.
 
"That's why we haven't used this field in 10 years -- because they said it was contaminated," resident Sharon Moore said. "So if you're uprooting or whatever you're doing, it has an impact on us."
 
Bridgeview Park is owned by Detroit Public Schools. It was the site of Jeffries Elementary School, which was torn down in 1991. Jennifer Mrozowski, a spokeswoman for the district, said the property previously was secured with fencing to prevent trespassing.
 
"We have asked Greening of Detroit to resecure the fence and place a sign on the property to inform neighbors of the project," Mrozowski said.
 
A state Department of Environmental Quality official said the agency was unaware of contamination at Bridgeview Park but that owners are obligated to take action.
 
"You don't just put up a fence and say `I'm done here,"' said Gerald Tiernan, an acting district supervisor with the DEQ. "If they know a property is contaminated, they can't just walk away."
 
After the school was torn down, the lot became filled with debris and waist-high grass. An effort took place to clean up the area, backed by financial contributions from Michigan Consolidated Gas and some other businesses. It opened as Bridgeview Park in 1994.
  • Amy LangeMore from Amy LangeMore>>

  • Three arrested after military reservist killed during carjacking

    Three arrested after military reservist killed during carjacking

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:01 PM EDT2014-07-29 23:01:39 GMT
    A third suspect is under arrest in the carjacking and murder of a young man outside the Superland Market at Schoolcraft Road and Rutland Street Monday night.
    A third suspect is under arrest in the carjacking and murder of a young man outside the Superland Market at Schoolcraft Road and Rutland Street Monday night.
  • Fire from lightning strike devastates Roseville church

    Fire from lightning strike devastates Roseville church

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 12:10 PM EDT2014-07-29 16:10:35 GMT
    A raging fire happens in Roseville and of all places to be struck by lightning - the steeple of the New Life Church of God in Christ.Pastor Darrell Moore and his family are devastated."I got here and I found out I really didn't have a church anymore, " he said. Moore was attending a Sunday evening service at another church, when a member of new life called him repeatedly. When he finally answered, it was bad news."The fire department was here, there was water everywhere," said Mary Moore, mot...
    A raging fire happens in Roseville and of all places to be struck by lightning - the steeple of the New Life Church of God in Christ.Pastor Darrell Moore and his family are devastated."I got here and I found out I really didn't have a church anymore, " he said. Moore was attending a Sunday evening service at another church, when a member of new life called him repeatedly. When he finally answered, it was bad news."The fire department was here, there was water everywhere," said Mary Moore, mot...
  • Charges to be determined after teen dies in car crash

    Charges to be determined after teen dies in car crash

    Monday, July 28 2014 7:59 PM EDT2014-07-28 23:59:07 GMT
    Seven teenagers were on their way back from a bonfire late Friday night. A 16-year-old girl was behind the wheel of the Ford Expedition with her mom also in the car.
    Seven teenagers were on their way back from a bonfire late Friday night. A 16-year-old girl was behind the wheel of the Ford Expedition with her mom also in the car.
  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Prosecutor to discuss sex-assault allegations against former Tigers pitcher Evan Reed

    Prosecutor to discuss sex-assault allegations against former Tigers pitcher Evan Reed

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 7:27 AM EDT2014-07-30 11:27:48 GMT
    Evan ReedEvan Reed
    Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy plans to hold a news conference to announce the results of the warrant review regarding former Tigers pitcher Evan Reed.
    Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy plans to hold a news conference to announce the results of the warrant review regarding former Tigers pitcher Evan Reed.
  • Attorney wants investigation of city clerk over Arab-American voter suppression

    Attorney wants investigation of city clerk over Arab-American voter suppression

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:43 PM EDT2014-07-30 03:43:20 GMT
    It is the tale of two cities. one paints a picture of a meticulous Dearborn Heights city clerk, following the law and fighting for a fair election. The other a story of abuse of power, mishandled ballots and voter suppression.Fatima Abdrabboh is an attorney and Michigan's director of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee the largest chapter in the country. She is calling for a full-scale investigation into claims that Walter Prusiewicz mishandled ballots from Arab-American voters fo...
    It is the tale of two cities. one paints a picture of a meticulous Dearborn Heights city clerk, following the law and fighting for a fair election. The other a story of abuse of power, mishandled ballots and voter suppression.Fatima Abdrabboh is an attorney and Michigan's director of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee the largest chapter in the country. She is calling for a full-scale investigation into claims that Walter Prusiewicz mishandled ballots from Arab-American voters fo...
  • Warren grandparents upset after grandchildren see racist graffiti at park

    Warren grandparents upset after grandchildren see racist graffiti at park

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:15 PM EDT2014-07-30 03:15:40 GMT
    Tuesday afternoon Bruce and Lubertha Callaway took their grandchildren to Shaw Park in Warren when they saw something they couldn't believe.
    Tuesday afternoon Bruce and Lubertha Callaway took their grandchildren to Shaw Park in Warren when they saw something they couldn't believe.
Powered by WorldNow

WJBK-TV | Fox 2
16550 West Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Main Station: (248) 557-2000
Newsroom: (248) 552-5103

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices