Why are the huge walnut trees in the grove along Fourth Street Southeast across from the Heintz center and by the federal medical prison being cut down?

Signed,

Tree lover!

Dear Tree lover,

You can be-leaf it. I shook some branches to get the details on the cutting down of the walnut trees and Mathew Miller, director of Olmsted County's Facilities & Building Operations, had this to say.

"We cut down probably about two-thirds of them and we are doing a storm water project at the county campus," Miller said. "What the storm water project is going to do is relieve the flooding that happens from time to time in front of the 2100 building."

A place for water to pond will be built at that location, hopefully by the fall.

In all, about 70 trees have been cut down, according to Miller. 

While the trees may be dead, they are not forgotten. Miller said the wood from the walnut trees is being salvaged and the county has partnered with a local hardwoods company to find a use for them.

"We hope to someday either use the wood or the dollars from (selling) the wood to help with the nature center that is being proposed at Oxbow Park so if there is a way we can incorporate it into that construction, either dollars or the wood, that is our goal to kind of preserve the history of those trees," he said.

What's your reaction?

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