Tree removals denied as Town Hall Garden rehab begins

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UPDATED, June 5: A hearing about removing three trees near Town Hall was held Monday, June 4, at 9 a.m. in the Lyons Hearing Room, second floor, Town Hall. With those objecting present, the tree warden denied the request to remove the trees, Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine wrote in an email June 4.

"Those involved with the garden restoration will now have to decide if they want to appeal to the Select Board," he wrote.

A town news release sent last week announced that site work on the nearby Town Hall Garden was scheduled to begin the same day. 

Jo Anne Preston, a YourArlington freelancer who spoke at the meeting, reported that she made a case to keeping the trees and that another woman expressed concern about shade.

In addition, four letters expressed opposition to removing the trees, the tree warden said. Some letter writers emailed Preston saying they could not attend the meeting because of work.

One writer noted that the trees were not part of the plan to restore the Town Hall Garden plan.

The hearing was to consider the proposed removal of a linden (DBH 12") on the right side of Town Hall, a black pine (DBH 14") on left side of Town Hall and  a Bradford pear (DBH 17") on back right of Robbins Library. 

The trees identified have been posted for public inspection. Interested parties are encouraged to attend. Any person objecting to the removal of this tree may attend the hearing or appeal in writing prior to the hearing. 

Contractor JJ Phelan was to begin work June 4, to restore the Winfield Robbins Memorial Garden water features at the foot of Cyrus Dallin's Menotomy Hunter sculpture. 

Asked about project finances, Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine responded that design, engineering and construction are slated to cost $613,835. This project is funded through the Community Preservation Act.

The restoration will be historically consistent with the intent of the Olmsted Brothers' 1938 design, a town news release says. 

Construction fencing will be put in place around the perimeter of the work area. All paths in the garden will remain accessible, except those alongside the reflecting pool. The project will continue though the fall.

You may view the predesign report, which includes historic documentation, including Olmsted drawings (included at the link) as well as the project drawings prepared by Weston & Sampson Engineers at

This news announcement was published Tuesday, May 29, 2018, and updated June 5.

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