Mount Pleasant couple fighting to protect historic tree from Foxconn construction
RACINE COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A Mount Pleasant couple moving because of Foxconn construction is doing everything they can to protect the historic tree that is on their property.
They call the tree 'Columbus' because of its age. The tree is 300-years-old, 16-feet around, and 75-feet tall.
George and Vellabe Creuziger, both in their 90s, have goodbyes to say. First to their house which they've lived in 58 years.
"We've lived here, hoping to live here all our lives, but that's not going to happen now," Vellabe said.
They're also saying goodbye to their oak tree, an anchor for them in lives that have been blessed grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
"Our kids played out there. We had a sandbox under the tree. We had a tire swing and it's just memories we hate to lose," said Vellabe.
Chief among those memories is their granddaughter Ashley getting engaged with Columbus looking over the happy occasion. Now, as the Village of Mount Pleasant is in the process of acquiring their home, the Creuzigers' thoughts keep turning to the backyard.
"I look out the door every day. I said to him one day, 'take a good look at the fields because pretty soon we aren't going to see them'," Vellabe said.
The couple received a victory recently with the news that the tree is out of the public right of way. In a statement, The Racine County Chief of Staff said in part, "The local project and construction teams share the desire to keep it. Whilere the is a goal to preserve the tree, some construction utility work is still in planning stages. We hope to know more in the coming weeks."
"There's some hope. Some hope. We'll see," Vellabe said.
The Creuzigers will be moving into a new house in a couple weeks. For now, the construction plan is to restrict activity within 100 feet of the tree.