Prep work has begun on rebuilding boulevards and replanting trees along Calgary's Memorial Drive as part of the city's plan to revitalize the historically significant area.

The first phase of the $31 million plan, called Landscape of Memory, will revitalize a 10-kilometre stretch along the Bow River from Prince's Island to Kensington.

Seven poplar trees nearing the end of their life cycle and considered a safety risk will be removed, but trees cloned from the original poplars planted between 1922 and 1928 in memory of soldiers who served in the First World War will be planted along the south boulevard, said the city.

Crab apple and ash trees will also be planted to replace the poplars removed from the north side of the boulevard.

"Memorial Drive isn't just a road in Calgary. It helps us remember the World War I troops who fought for our freedom," said Nicola Roe, manager of special projects for the parks department.

"Landscape of Memory builds on this collective memory, turning the ribbon of green running through the heart of our city into a showpiece area where we can continue to give thanks."

Temporary lane restrictions — usually during off-peak hours between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. — will be in place along Memorial Drive starting Monday until work is completed in fall.

The revitalization designs are based on public consultations that began in 2003.

Future phases of the project include creating an urban plaza west of the Louise Bridge next year.