Oak Park forester says don't hang swings from trees

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

The Village of Oak Park is asking residents to take down any swings that are hanging from branches, in the interest of safety for both children and trees.

In the past, the swings only popped up occasionally around town, but they've become increasingly popular, Village Forester Jim Semelka said in a press release. It's illegal to attach anything to a public tree, and village hall could possibly be held liable if a kid is injured while swinging from a branch.

"A swing in parkway trees is a bad idea on so many levels," Semelka said in the press release, later adding, "The law is on the books for a reason. It is about protecting our trees from damage as well as protecting the public from unnecessary hazards."

Anyone who wants to make a swing for their child should do it off public property, and preferably somewhere that isn't dangling from a tree branch, Semelka said. You can call 708-358-5700 or email publicworks@oak-park.us for more information about tree care and safety.

Semelka insisted that he's not trying to ruin the summer for anyone.

"I know there are some out there who will criticize us for trying to throw a wet blanket on their summertime fun," he said in the press release. "But this truly is a public safety issue. My professional interest is, of course, the health of the trees. As a parent, though, it really troubles me to see someone take an unnecessary risk with their child's safety."

CONTACT: mstempniak@wjinc.com

Reader Comments

2 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

T.J. from OP  

Posted: June 24th, 2011 8:23 AM

Village resident says to village forester "get a life." Maybe stop worrying about nonsense and start cleaning up this mess from the last storm.

Concerned Oak Park Parent from Oak Park  

Posted: June 20th, 2011 2:08 PM

Kids, just stay inside and play Virtual Tree Swing on your Nintendo. It's much safe.

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