The city of Cedar Rapids is continuing a string of tree removals, this time in a city park.
At least a dozen trees are being removed this week from Tomahawk Park and along E Avenue NE, where the street is being widened, in conjunction with construction of Mount Mercy University’s new outdoor athletics complex.
Among the trees was a towering sycamore, at the corner of E Avenue and Longwood Drive NE, where a recently installed sidewalk was previously constructed to go around the tree. Crews removed the sycamore on Wednesday.
The street project will replace the water main and sanitary sewer, reconstruct the street and will remove the new sidewalk, installed in 2012 under the Safe Routes to School program.
City Arborist Todd Fagan said the bulk of the tree removals are ash, linden and silver maple, “which are all over represented species in the city.”
“When possible, we moved infrastructure to take out lower quality trees and save better quality trees,” he said, adding that a few trees on the edge of Tomahawk will be removed, “but I don’t think the overall character of the park will be affected.”
Three large trees that appeared to be at least a century old, however, were removed from the park itself. Prior to the beginning of the project, a line of trees and other vegetation also was removed, on the far side of the park.
Mount Mercy’s $16 million Robert W. Plaster Athletic Complex, which will include softball and baseball facilities, as well as a football/soccer stadium, track and parking, is scheduled to be completed later this year.
Access will be at 19th Street NE, off of E Avenue.
See construction updates at mtmercy.edu/construction-updates.
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