Tree cutting resumes at Lansdowne Park
Published Monday, June 11, 2012 5:58PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 11, 2012 7:34PM EDT
Residents of Holmwood Avenue looked on in tears as trees were cut down near their homes.
"It's full of nice trees and it's really pretty and it gives me lots of oxygen and shade," said 10-year-old Grace Blue, who grew up playing around the trees.
The removal of about 60 trees is the first step in the revitalization of Lansdowne Park. City of Ottawa officials say cutting down the trees is necessary to move the Horticulture Building and relocate contaminated soil.
The tree cutting first began last week but residents locked their bikes to construction equipment in protest and the work was stalled.
Although residents knew the trees were slated for removal, they were angry that they weren't notified before the first trees were taken down.
City officials later said construction crews started the work early without approval. EllisDon Corporation later issued a public apology.
Residents say they hoped work would be stopped after an Environment Canada official told them Friday the cutting should be delayed after migratory birds were found nesting in the trees.
"The news was they were going to stop the city from cutting any further trees, and they were going to stop that cutting until August until the end of them migratory bird season," said resident Diane McIntyre.
On Monday, Environment Canada said the original statement was wrong and they would not interfere with the work by the city of Ottawa.
"We may not have gotten the result that we wanted," said resident Lee Blue. "We wanted the trees to stay for environmental reasons and we've lost a forest now and this forest will never ever be replaced."
The tree cutting resumed early Monday afternoon.
"I hope the rest of the city of Ottawa sees how upset this has made everybody in this community," said resident Martha McKeen.
Friends of Lansdowne, the main opposition group to the redevelopment plan for the park, has until June 29 to decide whether they'll bring their challenge to the plan in front of the Supreme Court of Canada.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's John Hua