Last week, advocates of Oak Hill scored a victory in protecting the area’s namesake oak trees. This is the latest development in a federal case filed in 2019 by Save Barton Creek Association and others against the Texas Department of Transportation over the misnamed “Oak Hill Parkway”—a twelve-lane concrete mix-master that would rip through the Oak Hill community and destroy hundreds of the area’s oldest native trees.
Plaintiffs, represented by SOS attorney Kelly Davis and private attorney Bill Gammon, asked the court to order that TxDOT halt all tree clearing until a ruling on the merits of the case. Although the court declined to go that far, the plaintiffs got the outcome they wanted: the trees are safe, for now. Following a Friday hearing in which U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman instructed TxDOT not to knock down any more “potentially protectable” trees pending a hearing on the merits, TxDOT notified its contractor to cease all tree clearing until the September 2 hearing. Success! Ultimately, a win in this case would send TxDOT back to the drawing board to evaluate alternatives to alleviate traffic in Oak Hill, including a community-supported alternative that could be delivered faster, cheaper, and without the environmental destruction of TxDOT’s currently proposed mega-highway.
Show your support for the cause by adopting a tree in Oak Hill here.