News / Edmonton

Petition to save Edmonton trees gains support

Joe Clare is hoping his banners and petition help save the trees harmed in Edmonton's expansion projects.

Barbara Balanko and Lyndon Woutas were on their way to the Edmonton Folk Festival when they stopped to sign a petition and take a selfie (with #strathearntrees) to help save the trees that will be lost during Valley Line LRT construction in Strathearn.

Braeden Jones/Metro

Barbara Balanko and Lyndon Woutas were on their way to the Edmonton Folk Festival when they stopped to sign a petition and take a selfie (with #strathearntrees) to help save the trees that will be lost during Valley Line LRT construction in Strathearn.

A Strathearn resident's effort's to preserve his community's ecology garnered significant support over the weekend.

Joe Clare hung banners near 92 Street and 95 avenue and set out a petition asking the city to re-evaluate the current plan to remove trees and widen roads in the area.

By mid-day Sunday, about 500 people, many on their way to Edmonton's Folk Fest, had signed Clare's petition "to save our urban forest."

His concern is for old trees lining boulevards, which will be removed in the city's current plan to widen the side streets when the Valley Line LRT route is constructed and the road network is adjusted.

The city has a policy to relocate trees that are displaced during infrastructure projects, but trees that are too big to relocate—like many shading streets with a dense canopy in Strathearn—are instead replaced by other landscaping.

Clare supports the LRT, increased density, and re-development, but he thinks the city could do more to preserve the existing ecology.

"We have to do these things respectfully; I don't think he engineers have walked down the street. They're not familiar with the neighbourhood," he said.

Clare explained how city representatives told him 92 Street would be widened to accommodate a left and right turn lane.

"We already have three lanes," he said. "There are definitely other ways."

Whether it's forbidding parking near the intersection to open up all three lanes or making the side streets into one-way streets, Clare thinks there are options the city isn't exploring.

He hopes his petition gets the city to consider those options not just in Strathearn, but anywhere the city is developing around mature trees.

More on Metronews.ca