CLEVELAND (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-Team found protesters on Thursday morning took new action trying to save trees in a city park.

Someone saw a tree crew in the area, so protesters quickly gathered and locked arms around trees at Cudell Park.

In fact, protesters even plan to chain themselves to trees, if necessary, to keep crews from cutting them down.

The group wants to block construction of a new school there on the west side which could lead to dozens of trees getting removed.

The group protested at a recent school board meeting.

Now, the new action is a new way to say, “We’re watching.”

Brent Eysenbach spoke for Friends Of Cudell Commons Park.

“We would like all of the residents of Cleveland to recognize that our public parks are precious when we have declining tree canopies and limited green space throughout the city,” he said. “It’s important that every square foot of it is maintained.”

We asked the Cleveland Metropolitan School District for a timetable involving the trees. We did not get one.

However, the district sent a long statement about planning for the new school:

As mentioned previously, and as recapped at a recent meeting of the Board of Education, over the last decade, the District has engaged the school community in facilities planning, including design review for the new building.

This included the input of building faculty and staff, community residents and nearby organizations, and approvals from a local design review, fire department, traffic department and Landmarks Commission. Materials related to the engagement opportunities and the community feedback that informed decision-making were posted on a designated facilities planning website for extended periods of time and were widely promoted through media and advertisements. 

As part of the planning for this new facility, care was paid to integrate the school’s outdoor play areas and the building entry with the Tamir Rice Memorial Garden, as it was being constructed during the school’s design. In fact, the playground location was specifically designed to complement the Garden.

Finally, CMSD’s facilities plan includes creation of a unified green campus for students to learn and play indoors and outdoors at the school site. This includes significant improvements to the tree population and to the creation of active and passive play areas, In addition, safe pedestrian, bike, auto and public transit circulation patterns were carefully integrated into the project.

Statement from Cleveland Metropolitan School District

Some protesters believe this fight could end up in court.