Pardee Homes settlement

The "Veteran's Tree," often seen with flags waving furiously in strong winds, will be relocated nearby as Highland Springs Avenue is widened to accommodate traffic for a couple of development projects.

Dear Editor:

I appreciated the recent Record Gazette informative article concerning Banning’s intent to become a “Tree City” by David James Heiss.

The article was complemented with a photo of the “Veteran’s Tree,” a majestic oak north of Wilson Street at Highland Springs Avenue, Banning reported to eventually be “moved” to make way for development of more than 4,000 future homes.

The iconic Veteran’s Tree is a beloved veteran’s memorial landmark for many who travel that particular stretch of Highland Springs Avenue.

Standing reverently tall and upright, the oak is silhouetted against a serene setting of pasture and hills — its branches seem to hover protectively above the rows of American flag and markers as a living memorial tribute to veterans and our military.

Inspired by the article, I researched public records.

It seems that the Veteran’s Tree is believed to be approximately 80 years old.

It is documented to eventually be “moved” to widen Highland Springs Avenue in anticipation of the increased traffic expected to be generated from the projected residential land development at Highland Springs Avenue and Wilson.

In 2004 two magnificent deodor cedar trees comprising the “green deodor tree tunnel” on Beaumont Avenue, Beaumont were scheduled to be removed to make way for residential land development.

However, a non-partisan committee of concerned citizens clamored to save the subject trees.

The land developer respected public demand, conformed its project so as to not sacrifice the trees, and the historical deodor trees were retained as originally planted.

Rather than “moving” the Veteran’s Tree and subjecting it to a traumatic transplant that would jeopardize its survival, the present site could be transformed into a roadside greenbelt area perhaps supplemented with evergreen deodor cedars.

In other words, conform the construction project to preserve the natural memorial integrity of the Veteran’s Tree at the present site as God has wrought.

What a noble visionary “Tree City” blessing that could be for the community and future generations as a respectful tribute to our military!

Joan Marie Patsky, Beaumont

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