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Steady Progress in Point Pleasant Park Clean Up
(Wednesday, February 11, 2004)-- The job of cleaning up the extensive hurricane damage in Point Pleasant Park is continuing, with steady progress being made. The combination of cold weather and limited snow fall has allowed the clean up to stay on schedule, with a June reopening still planned, Peter Bigelow, HRM's Manager of Real Property Planning said.
Point Pleasant was by far the hardest hit of HRM's 1,200 parks, green spaces, forests, trails and playgrounds with up to 70 per cent of the trees in the park downed or damaged by Hurricane Juan.
"Clean up efforts currently consist of equipment lifting fallen trees from the forest floor, stripping them of branches and then placing them for collection and removal from the park. In cases where wood cannot be reached from a pathway, specialized equipment and workers with chainsaws, backed by smaller equipment, carry out the clean up work. We have several methods at our disposal. Our aim is to have as soft a footprint as possible," Mr. Bigelow said.
The next stage of the clean up will be dealing with the branches and debris that remains after the tree trunks are removed. A good amount of fine woody debris needs to be left behind to provide nutrients for the regeneration of seedlings and existing young trees. Where there is too much, this material will be re-distributed or taken off site and burned under Canadian Food Inspection Agency regulations. Stumps and root plates will be righted in place.
"In areas where the first stage of clean up has been completed, it is possible to get a very clear view of what the park will look like when it reopens in June. In place of dense stands of trees, most of the park will be lightly wooded. Historic views from various fortifications will once again be possible," Mr. Bigelow said.
While much of the forest was lost to Hurricane Juan, the renewal and restoration that will follow the clean up will see reforestation as one of the priorities. Later this winter, HRM will begin a public planning process for the long term restoration of the park.
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For further information, contact:
Peter Bigelow, Manager, Real Property Planning