The following update on Brook Run Park's multi-use trail comes from the city of Dunwoody:
This week general clearing and grubbing has been done on site and trail grading is planned to occur within the next several weeks.
In an effort to clarify concerns that have been raised to the city and the State Environmental Protection Division (EPD), the city would like to share the following information on the construction of the multi-use trail at Brook Run Park.
The city is stringently adhering to all EPD requirements regarding erosion, sedimentation and pollution control. Although the EPD approved plan allows for removal of all (337) trees within the trail construction limits, the city has made modifications that will allow for the preservation of approximately 25 percent (or 80) of the 337 trees identified for removal in the plan.
Specifically, one of the three specimen trees within the construction limits was saved through these modifications. The city will continue to make efforts to preserve these identified trees, however, the city acknowledges some may need to be removed at a future point in time if the construction equipment activity damages tree and root structures.
To date the city has prepared the site, installing silt fencing along the bounds of construction, and begun clearing the trees within the construction limits. The city’s present efforts are focused within these limits of construction.
Following the clearing work, the city will install “tree save” fencing for trees outside of the construction limits. The “tree save” fencing will ensure that equipment used for the next stage of construction can easily identify trees to be avoided.
The city will continue to manage all trail construction activities occurring on-site. City staff are monitoring site activity, with plans in hand, to ensure only those trees previously identified and tagged for removal are removed.
On March 1, the EPD visited the site to inspect the erosion and sedimentation control measures installed by the city. Following her site visit, the EPD inspector concluded that the city was going above and beyond state requirements to manage the construction site effectively.
Recent concerns raised by citizens observing the construction regarding the alleged improper removal of an American Beech Tree were shown to be false. The city removed a 24-inch American Beech tree that was clearly identified in the plans to be removed. Only trees approved to be removed in the construction plans have been cleared.
The city has also fielded questions regarding the trail’s encroachment into the State’s 25 foot stream buffer. Based on the EPD recommendations from its March 1 visit, the city will provide additional mulch and slightly adjust the position of the silt fence to an area of about 20 yards to accommodate proper buffer distance. The city’s construction of the trail will follow the Georgia EPD approved construction plans. No illegal or improper stream buffer violations will exist.
Although it does not meet the definition or characteristics of an old growth forest, Brook Run Park remains the largest park in Dunwoody with a total of 102 acres and an estimated 60 acres of wooded park space, including an estimated 12,000 trees. The pre-construction trail assessment determined phase one of the multi-use trail would only affect approximately two percent of the trees in the park.