Northland residents try to save one of the area's last-remaining - KCTV5

Northland residents try to save one of the area's last-remaining forests

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The Park Hill School District is planning an expansion one woman fears could wipe out a large area of trees. (Kelli Taylor/KCTV5 News) The Park Hill School District is planning an expansion one woman fears could wipe out a large area of trees. (Kelli Taylor/KCTV5 News)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The Park Hill School District is planning an expansion one woman fears could wipe out a large area of trees. 

She is now on a mission to try to protect the Line Creek Forest for generations to come. 

"Once they start to develop this land, there's nothing to stop them,” said Julie Stutterheim who created a petition to save the forest.

A couple weeks ago, Stutterheim started the petition, and she already has more than 1,300 supporters. 

"I just wanted to fill the waters to kind of see what people thought about this, how they felt, and I was overwhelmed by the petition response,” she said.

The school district purchased nearly 300 acres of trail and forest area and plans to build a new elementary school that's set to open late 2019 and high school facility no sooner than 2020. 

Councilman Dan Fowler represents the area and has an idea to keep tree removal low for a proposed parkway but says there isn't much more he can do. 

"I think we can work with the parks department to try to minimize the footprint of that so we won't have to take as much vegetated area away. Short of that, really not a lot we can't tell the school district as the owner of the land to not develop on the area that she is concerned with,” Fowler said.

The school district says they'll try and preserve as much land as possible and have no current plans for the rest of the land.

Right now, the forest isn't officially protected. However, Stutterheim wants to make sure the forest remains untouched. 

"Every decision is really setting the way forward, and this is about setting the way forward to decide as a city. Are we the kind of city that is going to just tear out all of this or are we the kind of city that is going to preserve this for city kids?" Stutterheim said.

Stutterheim's next step is to work with the state conservative department to see how to preserve the forest and try to get this on an upcoming ballot. 

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