Dozens of tree stumps and piles of dirt are all that's left of this portion of Fresno State. It used to be saturated with benches and big, tall trees, but most have been removed. The only trees left are marked with an "x" meaning they're also getting the ax. A number of professors and students are outraged. English professor Magda Gilewicz said, "This is beyond imagination. This is a decision that was made by operations without any consultation with faculty."
"It's like cutting all the life out of the parking lot. I remember the benches under the big trees here and how welcoming that was coming to work. It was like going to a place of growth where things are growing and thriving and this is devastating," expressed former Fresno State employee, Debby Palmer.
Biology professor Madhusudan Katti said the construction has taken away his teaching sites,"These trees are habitats to many birds. Birds my students have been studying and they've lost study sites now."
Fresno State's parking administration is building a 600 car parking lot between the Save Mart Center and the campus itself. About 160 trees had to be removed. Fresno State Parking Administrator Amy Armstrong explained, "We are absolutely planting new trees, we're putting in good irrigation to maintain those trees and help them to have healthy lives."
She says a number of the trees that were removed were saved and relocated.
"A part of construction is taking out the old and putting in the new. It's a hard site to see through the construction process but the end result will be positive for the campus community," she added.
Armstrong said the trees that were not relocated were put through a chipper and the wood chips will be used on the new parking lot's landscaping.
The parking lot is expected to be open by the fall semester.