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The fate of the NW corner trees (reno)

From Andrea Holtslander, May 27, 2019

tree saved

The big tree south of the rinkhouse will be spared.

However, the three mature trees on the east side of the rink are to be removed, in both options.

Their removal is visible in slides 36 and 37 ďImpact on Existing Landscape.Ē Itís a very dense image, and these trees werenít discussed at the consultation meeting, according to someone who was there.

three mature trees will be gone

tree at SW corner

For some reason, the tree at the southeast corner of the rink (attachment on the right, below) doesnít appear in any of the images of the site in its present form [see slides 15, 23, 32]. The presentation doesn't give an accurate image to compare the existing site to what is proposed.

More trees will be planted, which is great. However, young trees do not have the same environmental benefits of mature trees for carbon capture. ďÖ[T]he older a tree is, the better it absorbs carbon from the atmosphere. In fact, the research suggests that almost 70 per cent of all the carbon stored in trees is accumulated in the last half of their lives.Ē

It seems odd to me that an avenue of mature trees will be fed to a woodchipper to make an avenue of young trees.

I guess this is being done to replace a still functioning rink, with a new rink?

Perhaps the rink could be scooched over to the west, into where the plaza is supposed to go, to spare these big trees.

Or perhaps we could leave the rinks alone, as well as the trees, and just replace the aging refrigeration machinery which caused last seasonís delay.

As for the zamboni garage and storage, other solutions should be found which donít have so much impact on the site. It will still be a long walk across the plaza in skates, and judging from Friday Night suppers and farmerís market days in warm months, people prefer to sit on the grass and under the trees, not on a concrete plaza. Raised beds for accessible gardening could be added to the site without replacing a whole rink.

the two Japanese cherry trees

Other trees not shown in the existing site images of the presentation are the three cherry trees on the south side of the rink (see slides 22, 29, 30, 31).

Slides 35 and 36 indicate they will be transplanted, pending the advice of an arborist. These trees have to make room for the widening of the rink and making a big sidewalk if Option 1 goes ahead, or the complete reorientation of the rinks and basketball court if Option 2 is the plan.

I am concerned these trees wouldnít survive transplantation, particularly the big cherry tree kids love climbing in.

We still havenít heard what codes or bylaws require the replacement of the rinks. It seems an unnecessary disruption and environmentally wasteful, both for the concrete and now with cutting down mature trees. Iím all for more trees in the park but letís leave the mature ones there, for their beauty, shade, and superior carbon capture. Iíd also rather see grass and flowers than big expanses of concrete, aside from whatís necessary for accessible pathways.

Here's the presentation:

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