Community voices concerns to preserve pieces of Reno’s history

Developers planed to remove elm trees downtown to build apartments
Published: Feb. 27, 2021 at 12:14 AM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Michelle Barthuly planted a seed in our community that is sprouting action to preserve what she calls our Reno’s treasures.

“I think if people knew the history of these trees, the age of them, and how rare they are, there would be a bit more sympathy to allow them to stay,” said Barthuly.

A 34 unit apartment complex is set to begin construction soon on the corner of Washington and Jones St. Barthuly is a native Nevadan who has grown to love the beauty of this city. She said this new development can remove irreplaceable roots.

“If you get the input of residence on what we want to see here, what we want our summer to look like when we are hanging out in front of the river or at The Hub with friends then you will get a picture of what we want life to look like here,” said Barthuly.

Each one of the elm trees at this site is more than 100 years old, and in the plans for this new development, all of them on this premises are set to be removed. Barthuly’s post on Facebook sparked a mix of emotions for many communities, leading to the involvement of Naomi Duerr, Reno City Councilwoman to work with the developers and make these pieces of history a part of their plans.

“I am so impressed with this particular developer because while they didn’t have to preserve the trees, they’re on their property, they’re their trees, not our trees, they were very open to work with us and understand the value of trees,” Duerr said.

Duerr said since the number of trees in Reno is already very limited, saving them is a priority. Working to save six out of the nine Elm trees on the property.

“It’s appropriate to draw attention to them and the history they have in Reno,” said Barthuly.

One person took a stand and motivated others to help make a difference and have hope that a piece of our past can be saved by courage.

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