Overgrown trees blocking sightlines and hurting residents’ perception of safety has community members asking for a trim.
In Peace Parkin 2015 a tree stand had to be trimmed to see from one of the park to the other. Trees near North Battleford Comprehensive High School have also come under scrutiny for impacting the perception of safety for students.
Tim Yeaman, North Battleford’s foreman of forestry, explained an overabundance of trees was a valid concern.
“We did have some community members that were concerned about their safety walking through the park, concerns about hiding spots within the park itself and not feeling safe when they walked through,” he said.
“So to help with that situation, simply going in and thinning out the tree standings and thinning out some of the undergrowth actually certainly helped with that.”
New pathway lighting is also in the works in areas such as Peace Park.
Yeaman said pruning the trees for safety also helps with their health since trees are sometimes overplanted in an area, with the intent that they be thinned out later.
“We’ve been a little bit more proactive this year with assessing the health of our trees, and going in and actually doing a proper pruning….and just making sure that they’re safe for those that want to enjoy them,” he said.
Removal of the trees around the Lawrence School wetland, close to North Battleford Comprehensive, has come under consideration.
However, Yeaman said such a measure would be a last resort.
“We should be able to work with the community, address the underlying cause, because sometimes it’s actually not the trees and not the shrubs. It’s actually maybe things that are going on in the neighbourhood that need to have other agencies involved to help address those concerns,” he said.
Ultimately, Yeaman said trees would always be part of the community, which is located in a naturally forested river valley.
“We start removing trees, we start taking away the wildlife. There’s a lot of benefits to having trees in our neighbourhoods, and they actually add value to our homes as well,” he said.
Geoff Smith is battlefordsNOW's News Director, business and agriculture reporter. He can be reached at [email protected] or tweet him @smithco.
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