Leigh Bielenberg's Testimony before the Atlanta City Council

This five minute segment is of Leigh Bielenberg’s testimony before the Atlanta City Council. The full 45 minutes of the Atlanta City Council discussion on starting an independent audit on the Arborist Division on the Bureau of Buildings may be viewed here.

Below is an image from the Atlanta Cyclorama in which is believed to be observed the tree Leigh discusses in the video, which she and her husband, Tab Bottoms, have been battling to preserve, the roots of which were recently bulldozed. The tree is believed to be the largest and oldest Southern Red Oak in metro Atlanta and is some 170-180 years of age. The roots were bulldozed immediately subsequent Tom Coffin’s being fired from the Arborist Division of the Bureau of Buildings (he was the senior arborist). This is the image Leigh was submitting in the above video.

Leigh writes,

The scan of part of the Cylorama is facing Northwest from the corner of Moreland and Dekalb Avenue. Our tree would had a 20 inch diameter at that point (the artists sketches of the local were done in 1882, about 18 years after the actual battle.) And based on the maps and GPS, our tree is depicted in the clump of trees above the second American Flag about half way up the image (below the white house which is now the Carter Center). Tab met with the Director of Cylorama and had a private tour to figure some of this out.

Former news on the tree may be viewed here.

Below is an image Marty took before excavation. As Marty points out, the stake indicating the tree line, which the developer’s themselves put down, is not in line with the tree protection fence, the tree protection fence violating the boundary.

The tree protection fence, by law, must be, in this case, a permanent chain link fence. It is instead a plastic fence with a movable temporary chain link.

Below are two photos from Leigh.

The first image shows how the oak tree roots were indeed bulldozed rather than airspayed.

The second image shows the destruction of an elm tree during the same excavation. Leigh states she and Tab said the Elm tree, which is on their property, would be destroyed according to the building plan of the development next door, but they had resigned themselves to this if the large oak tree was preserved. The elm is now dangerous and the developer has no plans to pay for its removal.

Link to Memorial post for Leigh.

Published by

Juli Kearns

Juli Kearns is the author of Thunderbird and the Ball of Twine and Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World (or) In Search of the Great Penguin. She is also an artist/photographer, and the person behind the web alter of "Idyllopus Press".

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *