If you've walked through the Centennial Park in Altona lately, you may have noticed large swaths of trees marked with orange ribbons. Don't panic! This doesn't mean they've been slated for removal.
Eric Hildebrand, the Town's Recreation Manager, was quick to emphasize, it's all part of a tree inventory being conducted at the park and the neighbouring Buffalo Nature Park by lawn care specialist firm, Green Drop.
"Part of that assessment process is going and identifying every tree and identifying the current health of that tree, the species. It is logging that in an information bank, if you will, and then later on, those trees will be identified with a metal tag. Later, we will receive a digital file map of all the trees," he explained. 

That digital map will be uploaded to the Town's GIS, or geographic information system, and help officials identify trees that need to be removed or should be considered for removal in the near future due to poor health, for example. 

The assessment process continues and Hildebrand expects to have the digital map ready some time in June.

With most of the trees planted in 1967 when the park was established, Hildebrand says concerns were starting to be raised that many would age-out in close succession, and this inventory will help the Town form a long-term plan for maintaining  

"It's a bit of a concern for us that we may have a lot of trees aging out at the same time. So, one way to maybe get ahead of that is to get a professional assessment of what we currently have; how things look, which ones should be removed sooner than later for various reasons, and then come up with a proper replacement plan. The Centennial Park is a gem within the community of Altona, and it's something that we want to treat as such and maintain as best as possible."

The assessment process continues, and Hildebrand expects to have the digital map ready sometime in June.