Update…

Hi Friends of Save the Giants,

The past few days have been full of excitement and celebration. Lorax Dave has been on the news (see link below), and this story made the front page of our city paper (see attached pic) as well as national news. We are all happy about saving the trees, but we also want to remind everyone that we have work to do in order to make the land a park for everyone to enjoy. The details of the purchase are now public. A group of neighbors will pay Everett Homes $800k for the land. This price, while high, represents a “break even” amount for the developer when his permits and house demolition costs are factored in. Part of our payment is offset by the sale of the western lot to a responsible developer who will build a smaller home away from the trees. A group of neighbors have also contributed significantly to the fund. But we do still need to raise money to pay off loans taken out in order to complete this purchase. It will be an amazing public park where generations will have a chance to be amongst these Giant Trees within an urban boundary. But besides being a place of beauty, Save The Giants Park will also become, we believe, an iconic part of this city and beyond. This is where a community came together to make a stand for something much greater than just Three Giant Trees. Please consider sharing this campaign with those you know might want to show support. Thank you, and let’s save more Giants!

http://on.kgw.com/1Ku8Woh

Front page news! What a nice headline.
This campaign is raising funds needed to purchase an important plot of land from a developer who wishes to clearcut three giant trees.  Funds raised here will go towards creating a small park for everyone to enjoy.  But please know, this is a story about far more than just three Giant Trees…

We’d like to tell you a quick story about the time Lorax Dave and The Ewok Village took on the dark side to save three giant trees, and won…Hidden on a quiet street in SE Portland, you will find three 150 foot tall giant sequoia trees, planted in a neat row by a girl on her 12th birthday, back in the late 1800’s.  Anyone who wanders beneath these trees will know, they are wonderous to behold.   But big and strong as they are, these Giants need our help.
A few months ago a developer bought this land and announced he would cut down all three of the Giants.  No one could explain why the city would approve the permits as the trees were healthy and posed no danger, but once they were issued, we were all just asked to accept that the trees must go in order to make room for huge houses.A young boy made a petition one day, asking to “Save the Giants”, and then more people came to look at them and they all shook their heads and said, “It’s a shame they have to be cut down.”

Everyone agreed these trees should not die, but we wondered, “It’s just three trees, big ones, yes, but will enough people care to actually make the cutters stop?”

On the morning that the cutting crews arrived, citizens sprang out of their houses and stood beneath these trees saying “We won’t go.”   Men with chainsaws threw ropes into the brandches and prepared to climb.  But more people gathered around and refused to leave the Giants alone.  The cutting could not begin until the people left the site.

The police came and said, “You will be arrested if you don’t leave.”

No one left.  In fact more people, a group from the ladies garden club, students from the college nearby, residents of the nursing home up the street, people on their way to work, and even children, walked  past the policemen to stand under the trees and say, “We will not leave them to be cut down.”

The police said they would not arrest anyone without the developer there.  But he would not answer the phone.  So that afternoon, the chainsaws were packed up, and the cutters went away.

The next day morning, people gathered around the trees, and the developer put up a fence to try to keep them away.  But people climbed over and under the fence, and some enterprising young folks rigged ropes up onto one of the giants.  A fellow named Lorax Dave set up camp high in it’s branches.  He prepared to stay for days, with a team of helpers down below.  They named themselve the “Ewok Village” and spent two night there shuttling up food and gifts brought to Dave from citizens around the city.  Bakers came by with warm bread and fresh oatmeal in the morning.  Mothers and their children made him cookies and homemade cards of encouragement.  He was warm and happy in the tree, with so much support from down below.

One morning the police stormed in and kicked The Ewok Village out, all except Lorax Dave, because he was up in the tree where they couldn’t reach him.  Citizens streamed in from near and far to show support for Lorax Dave and the trees.  For hours and hours the police called out to Dave that his support crew were gone, but they just yelled to him from behind the fence, “We’re here with you Dave!”

(photo by Oregonian)

Finally the mayor called the developer downtown and demanded that he meet with the neighborhood.  They worked on a deal to sell the land and preserve the trees.  People waited nervously around the fence, wondering if the police would try to pull Lorax Dave from his perch.  Instead a crew of tree cutters with chainsaws arrived and pulled their trucks up to the gate around the trees.  The people gathered  in front of them and locked arms, refusing the let the cutters in.  So the chainsaws left again, and for a while there was peace.

Later that day a deal was reached and the developer agreed to sell the land.  Now we need to raise the funds to complete the sale.  Your money pledged here will go directly towards paying off our debt to Everett Custom Homes so the the Three Giants can can safe and enjoyed by all in a quiet respectful space.

This place has an amazing history.  Please come enjoy The Three Giants, and and please consider donating what you can here, so that you can be part of the reason generations to come will be able to enjoy the Giants as well.


Please note:
an earlier GoFundMe campaign tried to raise funds for the purchase of this property, but did NOT process the pledges as the sale did not go through at the time.  Now it finally has.  If you pledged to that campaign, please consider donating here now.  Although the trees are safe, we still need to pay for this property, as loans were taken out in order to complete the sale, and to raise funds to maintain the site. The $35,000 figure here represents only part of what we must raise to complete the sale, so please give what you can.  Thank you!

If you’d like to make a larger, tax-deductible donation, please go to:
friendsoftrees.org/savethegiants


video by Benji Vuong

 

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