Man Blames Conservation Corps for Removing Memorial Tree

City replaces tree out of "good faith"

WASHINGTON -- A Washington resident is blaming young people in the city's summer conservation corps for digging up the crape myrtle he planted in memory of his grandmother.

James Carstensen said he left his home in northwest D.C. last week for 40 minutes and returned to find the tree lying on the ground in front of his home. He spotted the conservation corps workers walking nearby, he said.

Carstensen sent his complaint to a local blogger. A day after it was posted, the city replaced the crape myrtle.

Officials couldn't verify Cartensen's story but replaced the tree “as a gesture of good faith,” city spokesman Alan Heymann said.

The conservation corps has come under fire for failing to provide adequate supervision for the thousands of children employed by the program.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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