CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The City of Clearwater is planning to make some big improvements to Crest Lake Park but neighbors say they're not happy after finding out those improvements include cutting down more than 150 trees.
Daniel Crowe has lived near Crest Lake Park for 30 years and walks his dog there three times a day.
Shannon O’Leary-Beck is another neighbor who loves all of the wildlife and nature in the park.
The city plans to make upgrades to the park using $6.4 million of mostly BP oil spill money to add volleyball courts, restrooms, pavilions, improved walkways, a kayak ramp and more.
But Crowe and O’Leary-Beck say they’re not happy to learn that those upgrades include the removal of more than 150 trees.
"The whole back area is going to have the major amount of these trees removed for this proposed project, and most of us who live here are against it," said Crowe.
The City of Clearwater says its arborist has taken inventory of all 646 trees in the park and has declared that 157 of those trees as hazardous and need to be removed.
The city says every removed tree will be replaced by a new one. But neighbors say they are weary.
"They’re using this ruse, in my opinion, that there are over 150 trees that just happened to be damaged or in decline that just happen to be in the way of where they are just happening to be building all of this stuff," said O'Leary-Beck.
Next Wednesday, August 28 at 7 p.m. Neighbors and the public are invited to meet with the city at 407 South Saturn Avenue to voice their concerns.