‘The city should leave things alone’: Calgarians petition to save Marda Loop trees

An online petition started by a Marda Loop resident to save street trees in the area is gaining traction. Henna Saeed talks to the residents and asks the City of Calgary why these trees are being axed.

By Henna Saeed

An online petition started by a Marda Loop resident to save street trees in the Calgary neighbourhood is gaining traction and has residents wondering why the trees are being axed.

Five marked trees along a road in the southwest community have been marked by the City of Calgary to be cut down.

It sparked concerned resident Julia Sokulska to start an online petition to preserve them. Her petition has already received more than 600 signatures as of Wednesday afternoon.

Sokulska claims the removal of the street trees is not only an environmental issue, but also one concerning preservation. CityNews spoke to several area residents who agree.

“I think the city should spend more time leaving things alone,” one said. “Stop trying to engineer everything.”

“It just feels more natural to be in an area like this where there are more trees,” says another. “So I don’t really agree with trees being cut down.”

Marda Loop is currently under construction as the city works to improve and upgrade water, stoplight, and road infrastructure in the area.

According to the city’s website, they inventoried 177 trees and approximately 99 of them will need to be removed.

The online petition seeks answers from the city regarding the Marda Loop Mainstreets Project, alleging many of the trees are outside of the project boundary.

In a statement sent to CityNews, the city’s Public Spaces Delivery team says:

“We know the important role trees play in a community and appreciate resident concerns. Of the 21 mature trees currently along Garrison Gate S.W., we plan to remove five of them as part of our Main Streets project to improve safety and accessibility for everyone walking, cycling, wheeling and driving through Marda Loop, especially at the intersection of 34 Avenue S.W. which experiences high traffic volume. One tree will be replaced in the immediate vicinity of those being removed as part of our overall plan to plant over 100 new trees throughout the community. We will also be adding a variety of plants, shrubs, and grass to support a stronger tree canopy.” 

The city says they are trying to avoid removing trees wherever possible, for example on 34 Avenue SW east of 20 Street, there are two mature trees that are being retained.

They also say, for the trees that cannot be repurposed as part of any other projects, they will be recycled.

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