By PAUL STEINKOENIG — It is with dismay that I learned at the March 14 Hyattsville Corridor Community (HCC) meeting that the number of trees for the MD 500 project has been reduced by 59 percent. That is a huge reduction. Hyattsville is missing a giant opportunity to increase the number of trees in our community by not taking full advantage of the space allowed in this project to do so. I am shocked that this so-called TREE CITY has agreed to reduce the number of trees for this project so drastically.

I find it hard to believe that the MD 500 project agreed so quickly to reduce the number of trees specified earlier in the project based on one meeting with HCC where a small handful of people raised the objection to trees. Hyattsville is a Tree City, for God’s sake. We, as a community, have worked hard to implement and maintain that valued status. This community has lost many trees of late due to old age, storm winds and demolition/construction projects. By my very unofficial tally, the overall number of trees over the last year alone has been greatly reduced. We need to replace lost trees and not simply allow a few people who don’t like trees to make this hugely important decision.

My question for the board of the MD 500 Project is more of a bold request. Please reconsider your decision to reduce the number of trees so drastically. Please increase the number of trees once again in the MD 500 project.

Paul Steinkoenig is a homeowner living very close to the intersection of Nicholson Street and Queens Chapel Road.