Palm Springs
In a meeting on Sunday, the Mayor of Palm Springs Robert Moon, along with a council member assured the residents of Crossley Tract neighborhood, they will remove the row of trees which separated their neighborhood from the city-owned golf course, Dec.19. Pixabay

The Palm Springs city council, California, said in a meeting Sunday, that a row of trees which blocks a historic African-American community from a city-owned golf course, will be removed.

According to a report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, at an informal meeting with residents Sunday, Mayor of Palm Springs Robert Moon, along with a council member J.R. Roberts and other city officials, promised they will be removing the tamarisk trees and a chain link fence along the Crossley Tract (the African-American neighborhood) borders as quickly as possible.

A September report by the Desert Sun, a local daily newspaper in Palm Springs, said residents who live in the Lawrence Crossley neighborhood perceived the trees as "an enduring symbol of racism and inequality." They wanted the city of Palm Springs to remove the trees which separates their community from the Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort.

The report stated that the trees were initially planted in the early 1960s, during the time the Civil Rights Movement was gathering pace throughout the nation. These trees were planted to block the black neighborhood from the white community who used the gold course on the other side.

According to the report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, residents said the tamarisk trees block the view of the golf course and San Jacinto mountains which lead to depressed property values and stopped black families from earning any sort of wealth through their property holdings over the past half century.

Council member Roberts apologized to the residents of Crossley for the mistakes committed in the past. He also said that he, along with the other council members, would work towards making alterations so that future generations don’t have to go through the same issues the current and earlier generations faced.

Roberts told Crossley residents in the meeting: "You asked why it took us this long. I can’t answer that. But guess what? We’re here now"

Mayor Moon stated that he and Roberts had a combined experience of only four years on the council and the issue with the trees only recently came to their attention. Moon also stated that in order to get an idea of the problem, he visited the residents of the neighborhood as soon as he heard about the trees. Both Moon and Roberts promised the residents that the Crossley neighborhood had the support of the whole council.

"It’s a new city council and a new time," Moon said.

City manager David Ready said the trees will not be removed immediately as the issue had to be approved by the entire city council. Ready also stated that the project would be subjected to a bid in order to get the required funds. He estimated the trees could be removed within three months.

The residents, led by a real estate agent named, Trae Daniel, made four demands to the city council, the report said. They included removing the trees, the construction of a six-foot privacy wall for the residents who need it, installation of a net or something similar to stop the golf balls from coming into the yards of the residents and lastly, planting new trees which looked similar to the ones planted on the golf course.