Clean-up Begins At Woodward Park
Clean-up of damaged trees in Woodward Park began on Tuesday. The project to get rid of ice storm debris in the park, didn't come without controversy. News On 6 anchor Terry reports some are upset with the city's plan, saying the ice storm is just an excuse to remove the trees.
148 trees are being cut down and removed. Each one damaged in the December ice storm.
"Overall it's not a lot of the real big majestic trees that Woodward Park is known for. It's a lot of the smaller varieties that are damaged from falling limbs," said City Arborist Mike Perkins.
City Arborist Mike Perkins helped decide which trees should come down. Using international guidelines, Perkins says it came down to which trees were damaged to the point of not being able to heal properly or damaged limbs that hung over certain targets and posed a risk to park-goers.
"So, targets would be park benches, playground equipment, and shelters and buildings," said Perkins.
"I'm going to look at a couple of trees real quick," said Jane Halliwell with Stop the Chop.
Jane Halliwell also spent Tuesday at Woodward Park. She has a different view about removing the trees.
"It's license to take them down, pre-approved," said Halliwell.
Halliwell is part of Stop the Chop, a grassroots group that helped save trees in Woodward Park last summer. The city planned to remove more than four dozen trees, saying the trees presented an immediate threat. But, Halliwell and Stop the Chop got the city to change those plans. She spent Tuesday roaming the park looking for those trees she saved last summer. Halliwell even confronted City Arborist Mike Perkins immediately after we had finished interviewing him.
"How many trees from Stop the Chop are you taking down to the ground," asked Jane Halliwell.
"We are taking the ones down that have been marked for removal," said Mike Perkins.
"How many? Don't you know a number," asked Jane Halliwell.
Perkins declined to answer, saying it wasn't appropriate to have that conversation in front of The News On 6 camera. But, he does admit some of the trees damaged in the ice storm are the same trees that were deemed beyond repair last summer. But, Halliwell says that's just an excuse.
"They've done it, they've done it," said Halliwell.
The city says each tree taken down because of the ice storm will be replaced with another, adding the goal is to keep the parks safe.
After each tree is removed, the city will grind down the stump and fill in the hole with either soil or seed. In addition to the 148 trees being removed, another 350 will need to be pruned.
Find more stories on NewsOn6.com's Local News page.