Bennett wants Metro Christmas tree to be more ‘green’

Tuesday, July 20, 2010 at 12:09am

It’s Christmas in July for the Metro Council.

A non-binding, memorializing resolution sponsored by Councilwoman Karen Bennett would formally request that the Metro parks board consider planting an evergreen tree in Nashville’s Public Square instead of chopping one down during each holiday season.

The council is set to consider the resolution at tonight’s meeting.

Each year, Metro workers set out to find a suitable evergreen tree before erecting it in front of the Metro courthouse a few weeks before Christmas Day. Bennett would prefer the tree be permanent.

A live, planted evergreen could be “decorated for years to come without harming the environment,” the resolution reads, “which would serve as a reminder of environmental sustainability.”

“The purpose is to be a little bit greener of a city,” Bennett said. “It disturbs me that every year we’re cutting down a tree somewhere when we could plant one and use the same tree every year.”

Bennett, who represents the Inglewood neighborhood in East Nashville, said she sent a letter to the parks board in December asking them to consider the request. She said the board never responded to her letter.


22 Comments on this post:

By: Loretta Bridge on 7/19/10 at 11:51

I think Ms. Bennett and the other on the City Council need to spend more time focusing on things like getting our youth off the street, finding jobs for citizens, helping people that got flooded out of their homes that have paid taxes for years and can't get reasonable help from the FEMA, insurance companies and the city. Try fixing the water flooding problems in the area that have been asking for help for the last 10 years instead of worrying about putting sidewalks in Bellemeade. Aren't we getting ready to have elections? Is Ms. Bennett on the ballot? I think I need to look.

By: house_of_pain on 7/20/10 at 4:33

What we really need is a Festivus pole.

By: SirKnight on 7/20/10 at 6:33

This can't be taken seriously by the Council, can it? Cutting down a tree is 'disturbing'? Give me a break. How about a compromise? We continue with the long-standing tradition of putting up a CUT-DOWN Christmas tree AND plant your new little one in the Public Square.

By: wayitis on 7/20/10 at 6:44

What surprises me the most is that our atheist friends, aclu..etc...has not barged in and said "you can't call that a xmas tree its a holiday tree.

By: JohnGalt on 7/20/10 at 7:03

In recent memory the city has only used trees that were to be taken down anyway because of danger to power lines, etc. Ms. Bennett really does have much too much time on her hands.

By: budlight on 7/20/10 at 7:11

You got my vote John because you are correct. I am also recommending a retro-silver tree - the aluminum kind. Do they come in 50' tall?

Next she's gonna make opryland put in those swirley light bulbs instead of twinkle lights.

Karen, tackle some real issues, will you.

By: mamtou on 7/20/10 at 7:31

Thank goodness for elections!!! One more that needs to go!!

By: yeahdude on 7/20/10 at 8:22

wayitis - you shouldn't be surprised. Only people like you obsess about this. Keep on watching Beck and O'Reilly, though, for the latest on the war on christmas..

By: morpheus120 on 7/20/10 at 8:31

Boy, a lot of people haven't had their morning coffee yet.

What is wrong with Karen Bennett (a conservative Republican, nonetheless) proposing something like this?

Can someone not come up with a positive idea in this city without it getting trashed by a bunch of yahoos who probably have never even been to the Courthouse or attended a council meeting?

And Loretta, it's not like we have a GOP Congress here - it IS possible for the Council to walk and chew gum at the same time. They can pass budgets, appropriate funding, deal with zoning issues, AND put up an evergreen tree.

Good lord, people are whiny today!

By: breathofdeath on 7/20/10 at 9:00

Of course the council can take this seriously. It wasn't that long ago when the great "Christmas tree vs. holiday tree" debate took place. Go back a few more years and there was the "Let's not celebrate Halloween on Sunday because it's a school night" sham. We even had a councilman in 1989 who wanted the city to build a UFO landing pad. I think they thrive on the ridiculous!

By: Nash19 on 7/20/10 at 9:40

A UFO landing pad!? Did it pass? Did they build it? I bet they secretly did. It explains the surge in (illegal) aliens since then! "Hola, take me to your leader."

By: breathofdeath on 7/20/10 at 10:07

No, it got "grounded" by a vote of 27-1, with sponsor George Darden casting the only favorable vote.

By: miscueiam@hotma... on 7/20/10 at 10:36


The living tree has always worried me, also. Great idea. Our own
City Tree - year after year. Very cost effective.

By: bccoolj on 7/20/10 at 10:38

I agree with morpheus120 completely. People, get a grip here! The Metro Council does take care of its business, perhaps not at the pace that you and everyone else prefers. Along with their duties as Council, they do have the prerogative to introduce miscellaneous proposals that they believe can improve the Metro community.

You know, one of Ms. Bennett's constituents probably talked to her about proposing that suggestion, and she thought it was worthy to approach. We are all constituents of somebody on the Council, and we all have a right to suggest things, especially if we thinks it's a priority while noone else does! Everyone is entitled to their opinion if they think it's a bogus idea, and can contact their Council rep to shoot it down. Plain and simple process here.

By: breathofdeath on 7/20/10 at 10:59

If this idea truly had merit it would have been introduced in a manner that could be enforced. Memorializing resolutions have about as much of an impact as giving a skeleton a blood transfusion. And that's why it will probably pass because most council members, even when they think a memorializing resolution is stupid, will sign off on it because they know it is meaningless. At least the state won't have to supply the Capitol building with toilet paper for years to come because they stock the stalls with all the memorializing resolutions the council sends to the legislature.

By: govskeptic on 7/20/10 at 11:57

Lots of lawns have evergreens that are becoming overgrown for
the lot size. The city does these owners a favor by removing
& then replanting a smaller one if desired. Of course there's
the group that doesn't want to spend one dime and even resent
Christmas Trees by the city, but that's a small minority.

By: SRJ on 7/20/10 at 1:45

I agree with the majority of the postings. Metro has always used trees that have overgrown the owners lot size. So, I just do not see how this is destructive to the environment. After the holiday, that same tree is reduced to hardwood mulch which is used on our greenways. I really believe that Council Woman Bennett is barking up the wrong tree ! (pardon the pun)

By: budlight on 7/20/10 at 4:53

Does anyone remember that last year the tree succumbed to a wild wind storm and splintered? Now if it had been in someone's yard, a death could have resulted; instead it had plenty of room to fall with no casuaalties or fatalities!

Recycled trees that are a threat to the public is the way to go.

By: garyallanstewart on 7/20/10 at 6:01


budlight, you are confusing the Metro tree for the State tree. It was the tree in front of the State Capitol that fell during the storm. The one in front of the courthouse stood firm with only the star on top getting turned a little.

By: garyallanstewart on 7/20/10 at 6:01


By: dangerlover on 7/22/10 at 12:45

Also, the tree that fell last year would not have fallen if it had still been in the wasn't secured properly.

What is the harm in this proposal? At the very least, the time, effort, and fuel used to select a proper tree that had been harvested, cut it down without damaging it, secure it to a truck, drive it downtown, set it up and secure it would be saved every year. Assuming the life of a planted tree is (very conservatively) 50 years, that's a considerable savings.

Some people will complain about anything, I suppose, and some of them more than others.

By: Loretta Bridge on 7/23/10 at 8:18

@ morpheus120 Yes I have been to far too many Council meetings. I worked with
a two City Councilmen for 12 years and that is why I know how much time and money they waste.