Monday, May 19, 2014

New Trees For Plaza In Front Of Rite Aid On Smith Street

photo above courtesy of Mary P.

The plaza in front of Rite Aid at 320 Smith Street at the corner of President Street has been a real eye sore at times.  The chain store has been more than lax at times when it comes to sweeping the side walk in front of the store and to snow removal in the wintertime.
Most of the trash accumulated in the plaza tree pits, where four cherry trees, planted by the City, tried hard to survive. The four trees died one after another, and were replaced two years ago by new, much
smaller cherry trees. All except for one of these new trees broke almost immediately, their small trunks snapped in half when people tied their dog's leash around them. Besides, they were never watered, so they never really had a chance.

At the end of last week, the City came by once again, enlarged the tree pits and planted four London Plane trees. Plane trees are very sturdy and tall, so these have a much better shot at survival. (Look down President Street along Carroll Park and you will see mature examples.)

Let us hope that Rite Aid will be a better steward to these four new trees.  All they really need to become mature is some water.


Eric said...

As some of you are unaware, the reason why Rite Aid on Smith and President did not take care of the trees outside their building was solely based on the manager within the store itself named "Angelo". He did not take care of the outside because it was not his duty nor any of his him employees. Rite Aid job descriptions do not state that they must take care of the trees outside of their building. That it's strictly the company itself who must take of them. Since they're the ones who plant it. I would also like to mention that they are a "no go" for a bike rack as well. In order for them to set one up, they need permission from the company itself in order to file for the permit to have one outside. I am only stating this, because I was a former employee of the store and left due to the actions based on this branch alone. They frequently get robbed but nothing happens. Hopefully under this new management of the girl with the glasses and another male, that things change. But I highly doubt they will.

Katia said...

Eric, thank you for your comment. The Rite Aid store has just gone through an overhaul and it looks much better from the inside.
As far as the outside, the appearance of the plaza reflects directly on Rite Aid.
Let's hope that management will become more responsible by sweeping the trash that accumulates on the sidewalk and in the tree pits.
I understand that the job description for a manager may not strictly include watering trees, but it wouldn't be a bad idea for the store to invest in a hose for the outside.
Many of the smaller store owners on Smith Street wash down the sidewalk on a daily basis. And they water the trees.

Anonymous said...

News flash....I came out of the subway last night (Monday, approximately 6:00 pm) and someone had ripped one of the branches off the trunk of the tree closest to President Street. (it was hanging off the tree).

Say what you like about RiteAid's inattentiveness, but the real undoing of those trees is the out-of-control teenagers who vandalize them!

Eric said...

Katia thank you for your comment. I completely agree with you 100%. While I worked there, you can sense as an employee that no one gave a crap about outside. The manager Angelo, suggested that any loose paper or stuff thrown from outside the area of the store was deliberately left/thrown there by teens coming back from school or people tossing their garbage as they made their way to or from the President street train station. As for the hose part, as an employee, I brought up using one of the water cans that they sell during the summer/spring but they said no. Maybe things will change under this new management Katia.

Albert said...

In order for these trees to survive, fences need to be installed around them, like the new (well, a years old now) tree near the WWI memorial in Carroll Park. The city planted I think three trees there, and the first two died because people let their children rip branches off, and stuff like that. The trees in front of Rite Aid don't stand a chance, most likely. Sadly.

Also, and this has nothing to do with Rite Aid, Friday night I was coming out of the subway right on that corner and saw that someone had put a swastika and SS symbol graffiti on the wall of the stairs. I have seen this many times over the past five years at this particular subway exit. It's really disgusting.

Anonymous said...

This must be the 5th or 6th time they have planted these tree pits over the past dozen years. Putting in such small, immature trees in such a highly trafficked plaza is reticules--insanity is doing the same fruitless thing over and over again.

They should be putting in larger diameter trees which may have a chance of taking the abuse they will receive in the busy plaza.

And regardless of size, all trees need proper care. Rite Aid needs to be held accountable. Their staff seam to be treated much like the dead and often replaced trees.

Eric said...

The trees are perfectly fine. In fact the city has planted the exact same tree in other areas of our neighborhood. One spot that comes to mind is on Henry street between President and Carroll. Even though these trees may seem "weak" they must flourish. The one on Henry Street is doing fine. My thoughts regarding these trees and Rite Aid, are the miscreants that come out of school and devile them.

Eric said...

But yet I do agree with adding large diameter trees like you said. It's just disgusting that these kids do this and their is no one stopping them.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if you would call all the young white elementary school kids who stomp all over the plantings behind the fences at Carroll Park "miscreants". I find it just as infuriating.

Eric said...

No one cares about race. It deals with the actions of the kids together. But if you want to bring up the race card. More white kids steal from this Rite Aid than any other race. But once more, I never brought up race.

Anonymous said...

If we have a normal amount of rainfall in the coming months, we might not have to worry about watering so much, and the trees should do well. Vandalism is another story regardless of who commits it. I was raised never, ever to touch anything that didn't belong to me and always taught to respect others' property. Clearly, there's not enough of that today.