NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) —Cherry blossom trees that used to line Riverfront Park were replaced Thursday morning.
The trees were removed to make room for the stage used during the NFL Draft. The original plan was to grind them down to use as mulch for Metro parks.
“It seems incredibly short-sighted to cut down trees that took 15 plus years to grow for the convenience of a one-time, 48-hour event,” said Noni Nielson, Board President of the Nashville Tree Foundation.
Shortly after the Nashville Tree Foundation obtained this information, the public expressed their disapproval by creating an online petition that accumulated more than 50,000 signatures.
Mayor David Briley reaffirmed the feelings of the public, changing the plan by sending in professionals to remove the trees and vowing to give the best effort to keep the trees alive. The NCVC and NFL also responded with an outpouring of donations that will increase the number of cherry blossom trees in Nashville by more than 200.
The re-planting will be held on Thursday morning from approx. 6:30 a.m. to noon at Riverfront Park. Horticulturist Randall Lantz will also be on site to answer questions.
The cherry blossom trees that have been relocated have a 60% chance of survival, but that won’t be confirmed until next Spring.