Since Independent intern and University of Louisiana Lafayette journalism student Hope Rurik broke the story two weeks ago (Paving Paradise) that six mature live oaks will be felled on campus in order to build new dorms and parking towers, there’s been a push back from student and community groups to save the doomed trees.

Last week, students met with UL President Joseph Savoie to discuss the plans. Felicita “Flitzy” Wilhelm, a 21-year-old junior studying environmental and sustainable resources, told The Advocate that talks to “save at least one or two of the trees” are ongoing.

While talks are proceeding, there’s not much time left for the trees because the project is slated to begin immediately following finalization of the funding and construction contracts, in mid-December.

Part of the master plan includes planting five new live oaks to replace the lost giants.

While new planting is good for the campus and the city, it doesn’t really replace a mature tree. “People are saying they’re not the century oaks, so what’s the big deal,” Wilhelm told The Advocate. “But how are we going to get more century oaks when we cut them down at 50 or 60 years old?”

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