GazeboNews

News and stuff about Lake Forest and Lake Bluff

Forest Park Follow Up: Questions And Answers

By Adrienne Fawcett

The snow, rain, sleet and ice didn’t put a hold on the tree trimming that kicked off the renovation of Forest Park in Lake Forest last week. Kinnucan Co. (which donated its services) pruned 115 trees on Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 5 and 6. Meanwhile, Rommy Lopat of Lake Forest posted several questions in the comments of GazeboNews’s most recent Forest Park story. I shared these questions with Peter Gordon, Lake Forest’s city forester-supervisor of parks and forestry, and Ralph Gesualdo, executive director of the Forest Park Project Board.

Here are Lopat’s questions and Gordon’s and Gesualdo’s answers. (For the interviews, I spoke with Ralph on the phone and emailed back and forth with Peter.).

From Peter Gordon:

Lopat: Will the hawthorns that “weep” and touch the ground be pruned up?
Gordon: Kinnucan will not be pruning the Hawthorns

Lopat: Will the giant ash that is along the path from Deerpath be removed because it might have Borer, but tragically may not have been treated to kill the bug (can it be treated now …)?

Gordon: Several of the ash trees have been treated and will be saved including the tree referenced. The larger trees where treated with TREE-age a trunk injection good for two years. The smaller Ash trees where treated with imidacloprid, which is applied annually. It’s important to note the success rate for trees larger than 15″ inches in diameter decreases as the trees increases in size, however we felt the trees where significant enough to try and save.

Lopat: In your article, City Forester Gordon says the road will be “resurfaced”. I thought the road was going to be replaced with one that is further away from the bluff to accomodate a new path. Has that changed?
Gordon: The road will be moved a little to the west and as a result the road will need to be reconstructed and resurfaced.

Lopat: Will the vistas be clear cut or gently carved through branches to frame a distant view?
Gordon: The vistas will be addressed on an individual basis; some of the vistas will be gently carved through branches to frame a view while others may require some tree removal. Several of the vistas already exist and have been there for over 25 years and therefore will require very little work. In both cases the intent is to replant the bluffs with vegetation that is in line with the principles of OC Simonds.

Lopat: The public has not seen any plans since early 2012. Can a public meeting be held before work begins?
Gordon: I am not aware of the plan really changing since it was viewed in 2012.

From Ralph Gesualdo:

Lopat: The public has not seen any plans since early 2012. Can a public meeting be held before work begins??
Gesualdo: No, we’ve had over a dozen public meetings, and we’ve received approvals from Parks and Rec, HPC and City Council for the work we’ll be doing. That was the public process, and to do it again would be redundant.

Lopat: Will the vistas be clear cut or gently carved through branches to frame a distant view?
Gesualdo: We are not clear cutting, we are opening up. In order to create vistas, which is what the Master Plan calls for, there will be some trees removed. But tree removal is minimum.

Lopat: In your article, City Forester Gordon says the road will be “resurfaced”. I thought the road was going to be replaced with one that is further away from the bluff to accommodate a new path. Has that changed?
Gesualdo: According to the Master Plan, the road is not being resurfaced; in some places it’s being moved to go back to the original contour of the road. It’s being downsized. We’ve talked about what the road will look like, we’ve shown an outline of where the new road goes, we’ve talked about the parking lot and where the road will be diminished in size in order to create more green space and less hardscape. We’re following the original contour designed by OC Simonds and following the Master Plan that has been approved by all the boards.

Lopat: Will the vistas be clear cut or gently carved through branches to frame a distant view?
Gesualdo: We are not eliminating a lot of trees; we’re opening up little vistas to enhance the park. Clear cutting? We know that is a word people will find offensive, and no–we’re absolutely not clear cutting. We are opening up vistas.

Lopat: Can we see photographs that are photoshopped to show us before/afters?
Gesualdo: There are photographs on the Forest Park Project Board and Lake Forest website with the Master Plan.



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