Parking lot on North Church and Court a work in progress
By Susan Johnson
People who have walked around the block where The Rock River Times office is located may have noticed something missing the last two weeksseven medium-size shade trees on the edges of the parking lot. In fact, there were four new stumps on Winnebago Street, one on Court Street and two on Mulberry Street. By all appearances, the trees were healthy, and one tree was left standing but was obviously trimmed.
We contacted Fridh Corporation, the owner of the property, to get some answers. Thursday, July 23, The Rock River Times spoke with Jeff Holt, the property manager.
TRRT: Who is responsible for the cutting of trees around the100 block of North Church Street?
Jeff Holt: That’s our property.
TRRT: Why was it necessary?
JH: Because we’re replacing the parking lot and the landscaping just like at One Court Place. It’s at Court and Mulberry. We are replacing the landscaping once the parking lot is complete. We did preserve one of the trees.
TRRT: Could some other alternative have been taken? Were the trees diseased in some way?
JH: We worked with the landscape architect to design the landscaping for that property. The trees that had been removed are going to be replaced by a different variety of trees.
TRRT: What type of trees were they?
JH: I don’t know.
(Note: The remaining tree is a honey locust.)
TRRT: Why was it necessary to replace the trees? Were they in the way?
JH: We are replacing the landscaping and the parking lot is being repaved. I believe that information has been determined.
TRRT: Have you received any comments, either positive or negative, on the work?
JH: No, yours is the first we’ve heard.
TRRT: How do you think this project affects Rockford’s reputation as
the Forest City
? JH: I think it reflects very positively on the fact that we’re investing tens of thousands of dollars in improving the landscaping… It is the beginning of the changes in design for our parking lot that are positive.
TRRT: Who came up with the design?
JH: We worked with the landscape architect, a very prominent architect in town who did the design work around One Court Place.
TRRT: Who was it?
JH: I don’t think that’s necessary.
As our regular readers know, The Rock River Times has long promoted environmental preservation and recently published a series about the Kishwaukee River Corridor.
Bob Davis, who works downtown in the area affected, said,
I don’t know why they even did it. They should have left them up.
Bernard Barnes, an RMTD bus driver, told us,
I love trees, and I’ll truly miss them. I would go out on my break and sometimes sit down and read a few pages of my book. I just enjoy watching the trees with the birds flying around. It’s something I think a lot of people are going to miss. I think a lot of us down here are going to miss them. Most people are fond of trees. The city just doesn’t look right without trees.
From the Aug. 19-25, 2009 issue
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