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Like most Shaw churches, the Tenth Street Baptist Church needs more parking for its Sunday congregants. So sometime last winter, the church approached the city with a request to remove an oak tree on the grounds of the adjacent Shaw Junior High School to provide access to a dozen parking spaces on school property. Last month, the tree disappeared. Its box was then filled with cement, which has offered an ideal parking surface for Tenth Street churchgoers. “I was as surprised as anyone else,” says Shaw’s principal, Gregory Thomas. D.C. Public Schools consultant Mary Lee Phelps says the chop was done at the request of the church, which did not return repeated calls for comment. Neighbor David Stephens says the move recalls a 1999 incident in which nearby Metropolitan Baptist Church appropriated an elementary-school athletic field for parking. “I don’t think you should be cutting down trees and paving stuff over,” Stephens says. —Mike DeBonis