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Concord’s Rollins Park reforestation plan to begin with stump removal this fall

  • Remaining stumps from the infested trees removed last winter are seen at Rollins Park in Concord on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • Rollins Park in Concord, Tuesday, July 11, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • A concept drawing of the plan approved this week for Rollins Park, where hundreds of trees were infested with invasive bugs and removed. Courtesy

  • Remaining stumps from the infested trees removed last winter are seen at Rollins Park in Concord on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • Remaining stumps from the infested trees removed last winter are seen at Rollins Park in Concord on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)



Monitor staff
Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The first phase of the reforestation plan at Rollins Park in Concord is set to begin this fall with stump removal, regrading and the construction of walking paths.

It’ll continue in the spring, using the remainder of the $160,000 set aside in the current budget to plant a diverse stock of young trees, Parks and Recreation Director David Gill said.

The view of the South End park from Bow Street looks vastly different ever since heavy machinery swept through and removed hundreds of mature trees this winter. The pines there were infested with invasive bugs and had to be removed last winter before they died and became dangerous.

When the weather warmed up, Gill and the city’s planning department returned to the park to hold neighborhood meetings and determine what the next step should be for that space. Overwhelmingly, he said, the response was to replant trees and build some walking paths, a natural play area and an educational area.

Another phase of the project – about $90,000 – is planned in the city’s capital improvement program for the following year, Gill said, which could be used to realize another recommendation: gazebos.

“If that’s approved in next year’s budget, we will look at installing the gazebos, but first and foremost is to get the area planted, get it presentable,” he said.

After the city council approved the first phase this week, Gill said he’ll send out later this month a request for proposal to do the work.

“Depending on pricing, the vision is to remove the stumps this fall, regrade this fall, install the walkways this fall, and next spring we will begin to replant the area,” he said.

He’s expecting to have enough money left over to plant 40 to 50 trees – roughly 2 to 3 inches in diameter and 6 to 8 feet tall – and a mix of species so that they’re more resistant to infections such as the red pine scale that doomed the previous plantation.

“You’re not putting baby trees in,” he said. “They’re going to notice something right away.”

But even still, planners hoped to plant as many as 100 trees, so Gill said he’s considering an “adopt-a-tree” program that would allow people in the neighborhood to round out the total. He said he’s heard from the neighborhood meetings that people were interested in this idea.

“Folks could, if they’re interested, buy a tree,” he said. “There’d be various types and various costs for different types of trees, and there’d be a plaque somewhere at the park thanking everybody who would adopt a tree.”

Gill said he’d likely put together the details of that program this fall.

(Nick Reid can be reached at 369-3325, nreid@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at
@NickBReid.)