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Students in the Manor Park community wrote letters to Mayor Watson in a fight to save greenspace.

An east-end community is rallying together to save a greenspace from becoming a parking lot.

Manor Park Public School plans to pave parts of the schoolyard to make way for 12 portables, and replace one of two baseball diamonds with a parking lot for teachers.

A spokesperson for the school board says the changes are to accommodate a growing student population and address safety concerns regarding traffic and pedestrians.

“This greenspace is a community life-life,” said neighbourhood resident Rahul Chandran.

“They came to me that evening and said we have to do something they're going to tear down our trees,” said Chandran.

Chandran and his daughter frequently visit the park and use the space with other families in the area.

“It’s very, very simple they love their trees they love their park and they don’t see why it should go away,” said Chandran.

It’s hard for us understand why they're not being transparent and why they are not talking to to the children.”

Students too want the school to reconsider the proposal.

“I really don’t want them to take it down,” said grade three student Alannah Darling.

“I want it to stay like this,” said another student.

Students of the school had even penned letters to Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson asking for his help in stopping the project.

A spokesperson for the school board says the changes are to accommodate a growing student population and address safety concerns regarding traffic and pedestrians.

“They’re really wanting to create more parking to accommodate their teachers more easily,” said Natalie Belovic, a member of the Manor Park Community Association.

“Nobody in the community was asked or consulted on what where the solutions or the lesser of two evils.”

According to parents, the growing school population is due to increasing enrollment in the school’s early French Immersion program.

“Some kids are bussing 40 minutes each day to come to school when they have a school within walking distance,” said Belovic.

“We need the board to really look at whether they need to start a new early French immersion program,” said parent Claire Woodside.

“And we do not have to sacrifice the field to achieve the safety gains at the front of the school.”

Whiteside and other parents want the school to consider a border review to determine where students can attend French Immersion programs.

“This is just not a time to pave a well-used green space” said Woodside.

“This is a space that is loved and its loved by the students of the school and it's loved by the community.”

The city needs to approve the site plan in order for the school board to move ahead with the work, which is planned for summer of next year.

The board says it's still considering changes and is holding a meeting to address the concerns of the community Monday, October 7th  at 7 p.m. at Manor Park Public School.