City officials commit to removing 'racist' trees from golf course in Palm Springs

City officials commit to removing ‘racist’ trees from golf course in Palm Springs

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A view of some of the tamarisk trees that line Tahquitz Creek Golf Course in Palm Springs, Calif.

USA Today

A longtime symbol of segregation that has stood alongside a golf course since the 1960s will soon meet its end in one California town.

Decades ago, a large grove of tamarisk trees was planted on the border between Tahquitz Creek Golf Course and a historically black neighborhood, along with a chain link fence. But at an informal city meeting this week, officials promised residents that the trees and the fence would be removed.

According to USA Today and The (Palm Springs, Calif.) Desert Sun, the residents of the bordering neighborhood “said the invasive tamarisks, which block views of the Tahquitz Creek Golf Course and San Jacinto mountains, have artificially depressed property values and prevented black families from accumulating wealth in their property over the past half century.”

Mayor Robert Moon and council member J.R. Roberts apologized to the local residents for the actions of prior city officials and promised it would no longer be an issue for future generations.

“You asked why it took us this long,” Roberts said at the meeting. “I can’t answer that. But guess what? We’re here now.”