February 21, 2023
Summit Avenue between Lexington Parkway and Victoria Street
97 trees would be impacted from full reconstruction in this one segment.
Dear SOS supporters,

In a recent Star Tribune article, SOS Supporters were characterized as "tree lovers." That we are -- unabashedly. And we want the City of Saint Paul to pass a comprehensive Tree Preservation Ordinance BEFORE any more plans are made for a regional trail or street reconstruction. Cities all over the region have passed such measures that protect trees, reduce unnecessary tree removal, and enforce tree protection steps when construction around trees is absolutely necessary.

We hired two highly respected, certified independent arborists, Chad Giblin and Manuel Jordan, to evaluate the proposed 30% Summit Avenue Regional Trail (SART) plan last June. Given the early date, their report does not take into account the 90% plan which calls for curb lines moving into green boulevards and medians on 60% of Summit Avenue, impacting hundreds more mature trees on the west end.

In this newsletter, we have included the following:
  • Key Findings in the Arborist Report along with a chart and 2 maps
  • A link to the full report of the arborist findings, including their methodology.
  • A link to all the corresponding maps and charts to their report

SOS Steering Committee
Key Findings in the Arborist Report

Independent arborists were hired by SOS in July 2022. They were asked to analyze the impact of planned construction on Summit Avenue. They were asked to select sample, representative sections for review. The analysis was done on site and trees were inspected visually from the ground. The impacts included those from construction activity at curbside, as well as from reconstruction of the driveways, carriage walks and sidewalks. Three sections including 194 public trees and 5 private trees were chosen.

Section 1 – Saratoga St. S. to Albert St. N.- Macalester-Groveland/Lexington-Hamline neighborhood
  • Impact from Mill & Overlay–67 trees

Section 2 – Lexington Parkway S. to Victoria St. N. – Summit Hill neighborhood
  • Impact from full reconstruction–97 trees

Section 3 – Virginia St. to Nina St. – Cathedral Hill neighborhood
  • Impact from full reconstruction–35 trees

The impact from mill and overlay was minimal. The full reconstruction analysis of Sections 2 & 3, which is part of the Saint Paul Parks & Recreation’s plan, showed that 60.6% of the trees would be severely impacted, defined as ‘unlikely to recover’ from the construction activity. Extrapolating this analysis against the whole length of Summit Ave, comprising a total of 1,561 trees (pg. 117 – 90% plan), means that 950 trees would be severely impacted.

All of the information can be found at www.savesummitavenue.org/RESOURCES

Arborist Contact Information
Chad Giblin
Trees & Me 651-353-8853 chad@treesand.me

Manuel Jordan
Heritage Shade Tree 763-717-9366 manuel@heritageshadetree.com 
Cathedral Hill between Virginia Street and Nina Street

Key meeting dates -- the public is invited:

Summit Avenue Regional Trail Community Forum
Hosted by Summit-University District Council
6 - 7:30 p.m., Monday, February 27, 2023
House of Hope Presbyterian Church
797 Summit Avenue

Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Commission
Public Hearing
6:30 - 8:00 p.m.. Thursday, March 9
Arlington Hills Community Center
1200 Payne Avenue
We are fundraising!

If you can chip in on our Gofundme page, we will give you a big tree huggers hug :)

Link is on our website:

Thank you for considering!

Can you spare a few minutes?

Write our city, parks, and Met Council leaders. We have the emails addressed and ready to go, just add your name.

Sign our petition at www.savesummitavenue.org

We now have more than 2,460 signatures! And 400+ testimonials. Click on the map to see how widespread opposition to the plan has spread.

The Importance of Preserving Summit Avenue
Summit Avenue brings tremendous value to Saint Paul and the region as a tourist and visitor destination, an urban oasis for area residents, and an important factor in combating climate change. Summit Avenue is one of, if not the best-preserved historic street in the country

Quick facts:
  •  In 1886, property owners from Lexington Parkway to Mississippi River donated expanses of their front lawns to create the grassy, tree-lined boulevards we associate with Summit Avenue.
  • Pioneer landscape architect Horace Cleveland designed Summit Avenue west of Lexington Parkway.
  • In 1915 Minnesota legislature empowered Saint Paul to designate Summit Avenue as a residential district free of commercial businesses. 
  • The current striped on-street bike lanes were created over 20 years ago as the first marked on-street bikeway in Saint Paul.

The entire length of Summit Avenue earned the distinction of belonging to two national historic districts:
  • Historic Hill District
  • West Summit Avenue Historic District
ABOUT SOS (Save Our Street)
Save Our Street is a citizen group that seeks to educate and advocate for the preservation of the historic streetscape of Summit Avenue as a treasured St. Paul destination and a safe, tree-lined, multi-modal corridor for generations to come.
SOS Steering Committee Chair: Gary Todd Grtodd@comcast.net 651-470-4720
SOS Public Relations Carolyn Will carolyn@cwcommunications.info 612-414-9661
SOS PR & Volunteer Coordinator Susan Ritt Susan@cwcommunications.info