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Endeavour deal reached, four times as many trees to be planted

In a closed-door deal, the California Science Center and South L.A. neighborhood groups reached agreement Monday to plant four times as many trees as will be removed to make room for the space shuttle Endeavour.

The deal took place before the presentation at the Board of Public Works meeting, at which board members were slated to vote on a permit that would allow for the removal of close to 119 trees in South L.A. and 124 in Westchester.

The trees have to be removed so the Endeavor can be transported down city streets from LAX to the California Science Center, where it will go on permanent display.

PHOTOS: Space shuttle Endeavour

The agreement called for a comprehensive community plan that includes sidewalk repair, funding and a long-term beautification plan. The California Science Center will also provide $400,000 to a third party for community improvements.

Only South L.A. will be affected by the new agreement, which must be approved by the board.

It was standing-room-only at the meeting, which started more than 45 minutes late.

"While we sincerely regret the loss of many majestic trees which have aided this community for decades, what we accomplished though this agreement is a greener South L.A. for the health of our community, as well as educational opportunities at the Science Center for generations to come," said a statement released through the groups' attorney, Gideon Kracow.

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-- Angel Jennings

 
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