UPDATE: The city of Austin has announced it will postpone the tree’s removal while it “reviews additional considerations.” The Celebration of Life has also been postponed.
Every once in a while, the city of Austin does something so batty that you have to do a double take. Like the time its Equity Office proposed renaming the entire city to appease radical leftists fixated on race. Or the time its Health and Human Services department hung bags of “condoms, lube and safe sex information” from trees in a city park to promote HIV awareness.
Well, they’ve done it again. On Friday, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) announced a Celebration of Life ceremony to be held later this week in honor of “Flo.” The event will “feature a water blessing and provide attendees with time to say farewell to this beloved old friend.” PARD will also collect old stories, memories, and photos to share with the community.
So just who is Flo, you ask?
Well, Flo isn’t a person. It’s a tree. Or more accurately, Flo is an “iconic Barton Springs leaning pecan tree” that PARD doesn’t believe will thrive after its encounter with brittle cinder fungus, otherwise known as Kretzschmaria deusta. And so the city is throwing a party for this dying tree.
Now, this might be comical except that Austin is “one of the least affordable cities in America” per the New York Times. This is a surprise to no one in Central Texas; the average person simply can’t afford to live in Austin anymore. The cause of the crisis is no secret either—it is local governments run amok. They tax too much, regulate too aggressively, and spend in ways that put drunken sailors to shame. Combined, these proclivities have pushed the cost of government through the roof.
And so here we are. The city stands ready to celebrate Flo, but who can afford to go?