If you visit Monteith Riverpark in Albany this week, you can’t miss the pink X’s on dozens of trees. All the trees thus marked are scheduled to be cut down before the month is out.
This is one aspect of the city’s big Waterfront Project, an aspect that wasn’t emphasized when the project was discussed over the past few years. I don’t remember anyone saying, “And by the way, you realize that if we build these improvements, we’re going to have to cut down of a whole bunch of trees first.”
Somebody made me aware of all the markings in the park and along the nearby riverside path, and on Wednesday I took the bike to Monteith to take a look.
I counted the number of trees marked to be felled but lost count after about three dozen. Then I asked the city staff for details.
City Engineer Staci Belcastro is overseeing the riverfront project. Here is her summary:
“The trees marked with the pink ‘X’ will need to be removed before March 1 to facilitate construction of the Monteith Park and Dave Clark Trail improvements and avoid conflicts with the nesting seasons identified in the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.
“Approximately 260 trees were evaluated during the design of the Waterfront project with the assistance of an arborist, and there are about 80 trees where removal is warranted due to the condition of the tree(s) with respect to disease, hazardous or unsafe conditions, danger of falling, proximity to existing structures, interference with utility services or pedestrian or vehicular safety, or conflicts with the proposed improvements.
“K&E Excavating, who was selected by the Albany Revitalization Agency (ARA) to provide Construction Manager/General Contractor services for the Waterfront Project, marked the trees this week and are hoping to start tree felling during the last two weeks in February. K&E has a subcontractor, Mountain View Tree Company with an arborist on staff, to monitor the work and provide assistance.”
To refresh your memory, the downtown urban renewal program has budgeted about $15 million to rebuild Monteith Riverpark, improve part of Water Avenue, and refurbish parts of the Dave Clark Riverfront Path.
The park improvements include a new entrance from Washington Street, an improved parking lot, a summertime “splash pad” for children, and a new stage.
Much of the work is intended to be done this summer, and the city-sponsored Monteith concerts will have to be held at Timber Linn Park instead.
As for trees, presumably the plan is to plant new ones. But until they grow big, in the next few years Monteith Riverpark is going to look much less wooded than in summers past. (hh)
I sure hope a parking garage is also in the plans for this “upgrade”.
I seem to recall some song lyrics about paving paradise and putting up a parking lot…
All the info here: http://albanywaterfront.net/ No parking garage envisioned…
Hey Mr “Councilman”, I watched both videos. How nice it is that the city would go to the trouble of providing a translator for those who don’t (or won’t) speak English. Sure would be nice if they went to the same trouble to provide captioning for those of us AMERICANS who are deaf.
I doubt if those speaking had anything important to say. But I guess it’s just another example of the lack of empathy for the citizenry.
Wow, so you have to shit on a group of fellow community members who have nothing to do with why deaf people are getting shit on by the city? I hope captioning happens but I hope a bird shits on your head.
Another fine example of the level of discourse that the internet seems to encourage. Who would talk like that face-to-face?
Hopefully the city will replant and then not neglect the new trees. Too often you’ll see new trees planted and then die due to lack of water. A great example is along Crocker Road. Trees were planted along the sidewalk, then when summer came along they weren’t watered regularly.
What’s a park without big trees?
We live in Albany Oregon…used to be the Timber Capital. But “Albany”keeps cutting down big trees. And then plants ‘polite’ little 10’ trees with no shade canopy.
Our favorite towns are the ones with large tree lined streets they protect and care for. Feeling welcome and embraced as you walk or drive through.
Soon there will be no streets lined with trees over 10 feet tall. No beautiful shady parks. No respite on summer walks. Just vast hot expanses of pavement. By current practice Albany seems to embrace that.
Makes me very sad.
Albany sold Hazelwood Park too, soon, there will be nowhere to go with big trees in Albany, may need to move.
It is starting to seem like the city of trees was created to make jobs for arborists to cut trees down. I don’t think that is what the funds were intended for. The ecosystems function just fine in the natural areas. Why disrupted the whole park and make it unnatural. Not everything needs our intervention. Please speak up and preserve the life cycle that trees go through to contribute to the environment.
This is so sad. The park is beautiful as it is. It seems when ever we have something beautiful, the city has to swoop in and ruin it.
So…The City gonna take down that now meaningless “Tree City USA” sign?
Embankment erosion, reduced green space and disfigurement of the park. I am a regular on that path with my service dog during our breaks, lunch hour and after work to enjoy the green space and unwind after work. Why are the plans not up for public votes or opinions? A splash pad is going to bring a whole set of issues on its own that will cost more in the long run.
There have been *multiple* opportunities for public input for almost 3 years now: http://albanywaterfront.net/timeline/
Instead of planning and spending money on these grandiose projects, how about fixing our streets. You don’t need to spend money “improving” the riverfront to attract people, just keep it clean.
Maybe because people like it the way it is? It should asked if people want things to be changed, not told here’s the planned changes and we’re going to do them if people don’t complain.
But be an honest Abe for once. You, me and all the other regulars on this blog will always complain about everything. It’s our identity! We are experts in all subjects, masters of none, and we’ve got way too much time on our hands.
If I had enough money, I would move out of this town!! Of course, it was not mentioned in their “splash pad and paving over of the waterfront plan” that they were going to cut down trees in Monteith Park!
I refused to sign up for my City of Albany exercise class when the cost went from $53 to $96, in one fell swoop, so I won’t be at the Sr. Center (Oops! River Community Center) to witness the cutting of the trees. I’m glad I won’t be.
If you view the final drawings ( http://albanywaterfront.net/plans-and-renderings/ ) and enlarge the area with the splash pad, it seems fairly obvious that trees would have to be removed for it to be completed.
Well, Ray We’ve got you!!! “Being fairly obvious if you are looking at the final drawings” and being told out loud at meetings or in the newspaper coverage are not the same thing.
Taking trees off the riverbank is very contrary to what everyone else is trying to do, then add taking out trees to add even more concrete.. Geesh! Obviously Albany doesn’t believe in global warming at least.