Brentwood residents mocked on social media for protesting tree planting in park

Calgarians just can't leaf this one alone. The Twittersphere is mocking a group of Calgary residents who are barking over the city's decision to plant 15 trees in a local park.

City of Calgary says community was consulted and will return to plant remaining trees

Only eight of the 15 trees were planted in the park before local residents intervened, swearing and yelling at city workers to stop. (Natasha Frakes/CBC)

Calgarians refuse to leaf this one alone.

Tree puns are sprouting like healthy saplings on social media.

The mockery is directed at some residents in the northwest community of Brentwood who are barking over the city's decision to plant 15 trees in a local park.

Anger over the idea to spruce up a city park has even caught the attention of a Calgary politician.

Trees increase crime, says resident

Ellen Burgess is leading the campaign to stop the city's tree-planting efforts in the small nameless park in her neighbourhood.

"If you give people more places to hide, more naughty things will be done," she said.

She believes more trees will lead to more crime.

"We've had a significant increase in our little corner of the world and we are trying to put a stop to it," Burgess told the Calgary Eyeopener on Tuesday.

But the urban forestry lead for the City of Calgary said "crime is actually mitigated through trees."

"There's fewer incivilities, there's less aggressive or violent effects when there is trees. So trees actually provide a very social benefit to a community by reducing crime within an area," Jeanette Wheeler said.

City reached out to residents

While Burgess argues that residents were not consulted, Wheeler said the city reached out to the community on three occasions: through its online engagement portal, a social media campaign and an education night at the Brentwood Community Association.

"There was a map of Brentwood itself, where they could actually put dots where they wanted the trees to be planted. So we felt that this was a pretty safe place to come in to start planting some trees, because the community itself had wanted more trees," Wheeler said.

Only eight of the 15 trees were planted before residents intervened, swearing and yelling at city workers to stop.

But Wheeler said the city "will be going back in to plant them" as part of the ReTree YYC program, which was created after the 2014 September snowstorm that damaged more than one million trees in the city.

With files from the Calgary Eyeopener


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