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Tree cutting has people who use the Monon Trail concerned

Trail is being widened
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Posted at 8:08 PM, Dec 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-09 20:08:42-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Trees are coming down along the Monon Trail in Indianapolis, and that's concerning to people who use it.

The natural beauty of the trail is something walkers, joggers and bikers enjoy. So seeing stumps where trees once were is unsettling.

"We want nature, we want the trail to look like a natural part of the landscape," said walker Doug Day, "They provide shade. Without the trees, it gets hot."

Indy Parks says the trees on the west side of the trail just north of East 20th Street were cut down in preparation for the Monon widening project. Ten miles of the trail from 96th Street through downtown will be re-paved and widened by four feet.

It's the first upgrade to the Monon since it opened it the 1990's.

People who use the trail generally seem excited about the improvements, but they don't want to see less nature.

"We are widening it. That's a good thing. So when you widen it, it's not uncommon to take out a tree. But what is critical is the commitment to replanting new trees in their place and growing them back again." said Day.

Whether Indy Parks will be planting new trees isn't clear. According to spokesperson Ronetta Spalding, "The work will involve the heightening of the tree canopy in specified locations, the removal of vegetation with a critical root zone in the area of future construction, and the removal or pruning of poor or dead tree material to address potential safety threats. Many of the dead trees were due to Emerald Ash Borer."