Saved by a nest: Contractor ordered to spare trees at Lansdowne because of a family of robins

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By Neco Cockburn, The Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — A city contractor is to continue removing trees at Lansdowne Park Thursday as work to redevelop the site moves along, but not all of the clearing will go ahead as planned, says the ward councillor.

A biologist visited the area on Tuesday and found an American robin's nest in one of the trees slated for removal, according to Capital Councillor David Chernushenko.

As a result, the contractor has been told to keep the nesting tree and ensure that no other trees within 25 metres of it are removed, the councillor said.

"As a result, fewer trees will be removed on Thursday," states an update on Chernushenko's website.

The trees are being cut as part of soil remediation work on the west side of the Horticulture Building, and this latest round of tree cutting was expected to take about three days.

In an interview, Chernushenko said most of the work can go ahead but there will have to be a "bit of a workaround" for the area near the robin's tree.

It was not immediately clear when the tree and others around it can be removed.

Trees on the northwest corner of Sylvia Holden Park at the intersection of Bank Street and Holmwood Avenue are not to be removed as part of the work to start Thursday, Chernushenko's website states, but some trees on the eastern side of the park will be cut down.

Last month, there was uproar in the quiet neighbourhood near the park when crews began cutting trees down with no warning to residents. The company responsible for the tree removal, EllisDon, apologized for the mistake, and faced a protest when the removal of about 60 trees began within a week.

The trees are being removed before contaminated soil is cleaned up and the Horticulture Building moved east as part of the city's redevelopment plans with the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group.

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