Richmond residents petition to save oak tree

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A petition is being circulated to save an old oak tree in Richmond.

The city may cut down the tree, located in the Jackson Ward section of downtown Richmond at a triangle where Adams, Brook and Broad streets meet, to make room for a statue to honor Maggie Walker, an African American teacher and businesswoman who was the first female president of any race to charter a bank in the United States.

People who want to save the tree say they are not opposed to the statue.  Rubin Peacock is an artist who lives directly across the street from the tree. He feels the statue should be placed in a more prominent location on Broad Street.

“If they consider doing a roundabout right in the middle of Broad, that would be excellent. We would get high visibility, they could create something new,” said Peacock, who signed and helped circulate petitions to save the tree.

Jamie LaRose is also circulating the petition online and she agrees that the tree and the statue could co-exist.

“Don’t cut down the tree, keep the tree and the monument on the same sight and let them work out harmoniously,” state LaRose.

The city released the following statement regarding the statue:

“The conceptual design of the site has just begun. All options are being considered and we are hopeful that there will be a solution that is acceptable to all.”

Later in December, the city’s Planning Commission may discuss the future of the tree and the future home of the Maggie Walker statue.

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