Sage Roberts Foley


Enclosed you will find comment forms from 22 of the 24 members of the Baton Rouge Green Board of Directors (with the remaining two having been submitted electronically) regarding the above referenced project. Baton Rouge Green staff is represented here as well. We ask that all these comments be recorded in the Stage 1 Planning/Environmental Study documentation for H.004100.2.
Baton Rouge Green does not oppose the improvements being planned for the 1-10
corridor. However, we cannot overstate how crucial it is for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development to plan and budget accordingly for the protection and replacement of the trees affected during the 1-10 Widening project. As the agency that planted and currently maintains 1,257 trees and large shrubs within the project area,
Baton Rouge Green cannot continue to ask our private donor who have supported this work for 30 years to continue to carry the cost burden of repairing damaged canopy and landscapes in the wake of roadway enhancements. DOTO must include protected monies in the project budget to replace the trees lost or severely damaged at a ratio of 3:1 in an effort to recover the environmental services lost, as well as require the contractor
ultimately selected to take precautions to protect remaining trees during construction activities. Baton Rouge Green stands ready and willing to assist in the process in any way possible. These actions requested are not just vital to the beautification of our roadways and the quality of life of our citizens, but are also requisite in maintaining the necessary environmental benefits that these trees provide, including vast sequestration of carbon, prevention of millions of gallons of storm water runoff each year, and amelioration of the harmful particulate matter {pollution) proven to have significant negative health effects on human beings, wildlife and plant life.
Specifically, we would request that language enumerating the following procedures and specifications should be included in the environmental section of final contracts for
design and construction with any consulting party selected to complete The 1-10
Widening Project. 1) DOTO/ Builder /Design-Builder shall coordinate tree protection and/or replacement with Baton Rouge Green, and in accordance with Baton Rouge Green specifications, as well as DOTD’s Tree Protection standards and best management practices.
2) If it is determined that damage to the trees is unavoidable, DOTD/Builder/Design-Builder will work with Baton Rouge Green to minimize and mitigate damage, and to
design and budget accordingly to plant new trees to appropriately offset the canopy loss of those trees, per Baton Rouge Green’s specifications. To address net canopy loss, a target ratio of 3:1 replacement of trees removed or severely damaged with 15-gallon (or similar size) specimens, should be established.
3) The financial burden of protecting and/or replacing trees shall be placed on the DOTO/ Builder/Design-Builder as part of the final construction budget for The 1-10 Widening Project.
Again, we would like to restate that Baton Rouge Green does not object to the improvements in question. We are prepared to assist DOTO and any related parties with project completion, which must certainly include plans to protect, replant, and potentially enhance the canopy and landscape of the 1-10 corridor to be considered a true “success.”


We appreciate your comments and look forward to continuing our cooperative relationship as this project moves forward. DOTD is committed to maintain/restoring mitigating the impact to the landscaping that Baton Rouge Green has worked to create.