In the SPACE vs. TREES battle, everyone's coming out a winner as the California Science Center has promised to plant more trees than it removes for the space shuttle Endeavour's trip across town. The shuttle is scheduled to arrive Friday and start a trip from LAX to the CSC on October 12. CSC plans to take out nearly 400 trees to make way for the shuttle (119 in South LA, 124 in Westchester, 128 in Inglewood, a few dozen near LAX), but has now agreed to replace the South LA trees at four-to-one; it'll replace the others at a state-mandated two-to-one rate, reports the LA Times. Trees causing sidewalk damage will be the first to go and no native or heritage trees will be removed, according to the Daily News. The CSC has also agreed to plant larger trees than those removed, contribute $400,000 toward tree trimming, provide "up to five years of tree maintenance," give out at least 10 scholarships to local students, pay into an education fund, and train local teachers in science. In return: they get a space shuttle!
Residents, naturally, are concerned about the tree removals, especially in greenery-poor South LA neighborhoods. You don't want to end up like Mars, do you? "We sent the rover Curiosity to Mars and it sent back all these pictures and what did you see? No trees. If we can sent an aircraft to Mars, surely we can find a better way to go 12 miles to the California Science Center," says one Leimert Park resident.
The shuttle is 78 feet wing-to-wing and 57 feet tall, and apparently it couldn't be taken apart to move in pieces--also, what kind of fun is that? Meanwhile, the Daily News teases us with the lost hope of this awesomeness: "Officials did look at trying to use helicopters to carry it, but it is too large."
· California Science Center Foundation to replant trees removed for space shuttle Endeavour's trip from LAX to new home [LADN]
· Center gets final OK to cut trees in space shuttle's path [LAT]