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Upcoming City Projects and Trees

upcoming city projects and trees

Dear District #7 community, 

With the City of Edwardsville preparing to start several projects, we wanted to communicate some impacts to District #7’s treescape. Before April 1, 2024, the city will remove five trees along West Street in the IDOT right-of-way to make space for a new 12-inch water main and expansion of the Route 66 Trail. This summer the city will replace the 103-year-old four-inch water main with a 12-inch line. The current main serves Lincoln Middle School but stops before reaching Schwarz Street. The plan is to connect the new water main to the existing one along IL-157 to ensure there is enough water pressure for fire safety in the schools and surrounding area. 

After completing the water main project, the city will begin construction of the MEPRD (Metro East Park and Recreation District) grant funded expansion of the Route 66 Trail from St. Louis Street to Schwarz Street, with a future connection planned from Schwarz Street to Enclave Blvd.  

An information graphic below illustrates which trees are expected to be removed by the city. The tree closest to the corner of St. Louis Street and West Street will remain and measures will be taken to try and protect the tree from damage during the removals and future construction. However, please note that any time work occurs, or non-permeable surfaces (such as sidewalks) occupy space underneath the dripline of a tree, it creates the potential for decline. After the city projects conclude, District #7 will monitor the health of this tree annually for its long-term viability.  

In addition to the five trees within the IDOT right-of-way, three ash trees in the lawn east of Hadley House will also be removed. The ash trees are scheduled to be removed due to the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) infestation that is causing the health of the trees to decline with death, if not already, imminent. For more information regarding Emerald Ash Borer, here is a link to the Illinois Department of Agriculture.  

There are additional ash trees throughout District #7 that are scheduled for removal due to this infestation and decline as well. The EAB’s larvae feed on the inner bark, the layer between the bark and wood, which disrupts the tree’s ability to transport water and crucial nutrients from the soil to the leaves; thus, causing the tree to decline and eventually die. A declining or dead tree poses a safety concern, as it opens the opportunity for the tree to drop branches or even topple over. The best practice is to remove any infested trees. 

After removing these ash trees, District #7 is committing to planting new Illinois native sapling, one-for-one; meaning for every tree that is removed, a new sapling will be planted. If the tree is larger in diameter, at the discretion of District #7, multiple trees will be planted. The location of these new saplings will be determined later; as spacing, species, and maintaining open space for activities will be taken into consideration.  

Thank you for your understanding as we cooperate with the City of Edwardsville projects and tree safety concerns. 

Patrick Shelton, Ed.D.