PORTAGE COUNTY, Ohio-- Residents living along Brosius Road outside Garrettsville did a double take when a tree sprouted up in the middle of the road overnight.
When they saw the tree had been planted in a pothole, they realized it was actually a protest about the conditions on the road.
A longtime resident, who asked that he not be identified, told FOX 8 News, “I would think he was fed up with the holes being there and he wanted them fixed, get tired of driving down through there and have to swerve around and avoid the darn holes.”
Homeowners that we spoke with did not want to be shown on camera out of concern they would be blamed for planting the tree, but they do not disagree with the protester's message.
“The potholes have been hard to avoid. They tear up your car and at night you can't see the holes, luckily somebody spray painted the holes with white paint so we could see them as we were going up and down the road,” said one longtime resident.
They say the tree is also a symbol of frustration over a lack of attention from elected officials and public servants in Portage County. “The potholes were so bad, you do this bouncing around, and when I called the Portage County engineer and complained, I said, 'What about these Amish horses, and one of them steps in there and breaks a leg? It is about time you got out here’, because we thought they would get it done this summer,” said a woman who has lived in the neighborhood for more than 20 years.
It turns out the tree got the attention of the Portage County Engineer’s Office, because three days after photos of the tree were posted online, work crews showed up on Brosius Road and began filling the potholes.
While residents were concerned the tree might cause an accident, they give the unknown protester credit for finally getting action on the pothole problem. “It takes a lot of guts to go out and do something like that, and not get caught because it was dangerous to have that stuck in the road, but I'm glad they did it because now it's fixed,” said one homeowner.