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Crews cull 'weak' trees to make Point Pleasant Park forest 'stronger'
HALIFAX -- At least twice a week, Doug and Mary Gillie make the trek to Point Pleasant Park with their dog Callie.
It's a ritual they all enjoy; even though the foliage may be mostly on the ground now, there's still plenty of natural beauty to enjoy.
For regular visitors to one area, there are plenty of stumps, too.
"We knew they had cut a few down, but we didn't know it was a big thing," said Mary Gillie.
On Monday, crews just finished up a planned culling project that began just after post-tropical storm Dorian.
The storm actually sped up the process, because the park was closed for a week afterwards.
About 80,000 trees were cut down in an area the size of five-and-a-half football fields.
"This project's being done to help the forest become stronger," said Halifax spokeswoman Maggie-Jean Spray. "So by removing some of those thinner and weaker trees, and returning the forest to a pure Acadian forest."
It all began after Hurricane Juan in 2003, which itself took down 70,000 trees.
"I trust that they've done enough studies to know what they're doing, and I'm really proud that they look after our park like they do," said park user Cheryl Lorette.
Experts cooked up a plan to ensure the long-term survival of Point Pleasant Park by favouring the stronger trees, and removing those that aren't native to the area.
Because crews are being selective, it doesn't look anything like clear-cutting.
"They could take down another 10, and you wouldn't notice," said park user Isla McEachern. "It Looks tidy, looks clean. I didn't see anything on the path or on the sides."
Another 10-hectare-area will be targetted next year, and a third the year after.
It's a project the Gillies will be watching carefully.
"It's a lot of trees," Doug Gillie said. "I certainly wouldn't want to have a clear view from one end of the park to the other."