Central Park: Tree hugging

TREE HUGGING

Almost all of the park board's commissioners, including Vision Vancouver chair Constance Barnes, attended an event this past weekend marking the successful conclusion of a collaborative street tree project.

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The project began last year when the park board proposed culling 20 per cent of the elm trees that line East Sixth Avenue between Woodland Avenue and Nanaimo. Nearby residents were incensed and organized to save the trees. In response, the park board held a community meeting to discuss the elms and came up with a plan to remove only the five most damaged trees.

The other positive to this story is that a long-term management plan was developed for the popular canopy of trees. Fifty-two new elm trees will be planted to fill in the gaps along the canopy. That planting launched this past Saturday with a ceremony and community celebration.

YOUR MONEY

Speaking of Barnes, the park board chair emailed the Courier with another reminder to residents to have their say on the city's 2012 operating budget.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease, so any residents with concerns about their community centre, parks programs, sports fields or anything park board related should plan to attend tonight's (Jan. 25) budget information meeting at city hall, which runs from 7 to 9 p.m. The city is also offering opportunities to residents to act as a city councillor for the day.

The city will be conducting a phone survey about the budget, so if you get a call, don't hang up and instead take a moment and speak your mind.

THIN ICE

This warning might be moot by the time this column is published, but I received a news release from the park board Monday and will pass it along in case we receive more freezing weather in the near future.

The park board is asking wouldbe skaters (more-likely swimmers) to stay off frozen lakes and ponds in city parks. The same goes for dogs, which have been known to fall through thin ice.

Recent cold weather has led to ice forming on lakes and ponds, but it's not thick enough to permit skating or walking. The park board has posted warning signs at Trout Lake at John Hendry Park, Lost Lagoon and Beaver Lake in Stanley Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, Jericho Beach Park, Vanier Park and Sutcliffe Park near the entrance to Granville Island.

HOLY S#%T

I was walking through Mountain View Cemetery this past Sunday and was dismayed to find it littered with bags of dog poo.

It seems some dog owners are taking the trouble to carry bags to the cemetery and pick up their pet's poop, but are not following through and finding a garbage can. They must assume a valet sweeps in after them to clean up.

I also saw an off-leash, mostly white pit bull/American Staffordshire terrier frolicking among the graves while its owner jogged ahead almost out of sight. I thought it was pretty cute, until I saw it stop at a grave, take a bouquet of fresh flowers in its mouth and give it a good shake. I believe allowing a dog to ruin someone else's belongings is disrespectful, but hey that's just me.

sthomas@vancourier.com

Twitter: @sthomas10

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