Veterans Memorial Park

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Council approved a capital project for Cookstown Memorial Park Rehabilitation that includes landscape works to improve the drainage on site, monument repairs, tree rehabilitation (maintenance and removal) and additional tree plantings. The restoration efforts, which affect the trees, cenotaph and trench mortar, are meant to help rejuvenate Remembrance Day activities in Cookstown. We thank Royal Canadian Legion Branches 547 Lefroy-Belle Ewart & Branch 171 Alliston Poppy Funds and Veterans Affairs Canada for their generous contributions towards this project.

Next Steps

We are revitalizing the walkway and seating area to improve accessibility, safety and reconfiguring the surrounding grades, gardens and turf areas to alleviate some of the drainage concerns on site that may be negatively impacting the monument. We will also be pursue some structural repairs on the monument. We look forward to making these improvements to this important space and encourage you to reach out if you have any questions.

Background

In July 2019, a group of local Cookstown residents and members of the Heritage Committee met with town staff to work on a solution for the deteriorating condition of the cenotaph, trench mortar, surrounding flower beds, and Maple trees. That same month, the Veterans Memorial Park was inspected by SJM Arboriculture Consulting Ltd to assess the safety, health and aesthetics of the trees. The arborist recommended a mix of tree removals, pruning and replanting to ensure the safety of the park and its users. The work will be phased based on priority levels.

Each individual tree was assessed and given a specific sustainability plan. This plan helps preserve these heritage trees and keep them in a healthy state for as long as possible. Unfortunately, some tree removals are necessary as the trees pose hazards in their current deteriorating state and can fall under heavy wind or the weight of ice and snow. A total of 16 trees will be removed (3 Norway Spruce and 13 various species of Maples) based on their unreasonable potential risk.

Many of the trees on-site are nearing 100 years old. As trees age and grow, mature trees become relatively intolerant of stress and site changes. Mature trees have been exposed to storms, environmental stress and disease pests over a long period of time. Subsequently, wood decay, root disorders and other structural deficiencies increase the risk of the tree falling.

Replanting

Trees provide incredible value to our outdoor spaces with natural shade, beauty, and environmental importance. We will be replanting 14 Maple trees in this park over the course of this project in pre-existing locations and where trees have been removed.

In October 2020, we replanted four Red Maple and three Sugar Maple trees on-site to replace those memorial trees that have been previously removed from Veterans Memorial Park.

We hope to repurpose this wood

Maple trees were planted at Veterans Memorial Park in memorial of soldiers who did not make it home after the First World War. We know these trees are an important part of Remembrance Day ceremonies and hold immense historical value. While we will be replanting trees in place of the removals, we want to do something special with the felled wood, if feasible. Based on the initial results from previously dismantled trees, most of the wood is compromised with rot and extremely decayed. However, we will evaluate each tree upon dismantling to assess whether we can collect enough non-degraded wood to repurpose it into something special. Subscribe for project updates and check back often, as we will be reaching out to the community for what they'd like to see done with the wood once we have more information!

Council approved a capital project for Cookstown Memorial Park Rehabilitation that includes landscape works to improve the drainage on site, monument repairs, tree rehabilitation (maintenance and removal) and additional tree plantings. The restoration efforts, which affect the trees, cenotaph and trench mortar, are meant to help rejuvenate Remembrance Day activities in Cookstown. We thank Royal Canadian Legion Branches 547 Lefroy-Belle Ewart & Branch 171 Alliston Poppy Funds and Veterans Affairs Canada for their generous contributions towards this project.

Next Steps

We are revitalizing the walkway and seating area to improve accessibility, safety and reconfiguring the surrounding grades, gardens and turf areas to alleviate some of the drainage concerns on site that may be negatively impacting the monument. We will also be pursue some structural repairs on the monument. We look forward to making these improvements to this important space and encourage you to reach out if you have any questions.

Background

In July 2019, a group of local Cookstown residents and members of the Heritage Committee met with town staff to work on a solution for the deteriorating condition of the cenotaph, trench mortar, surrounding flower beds, and Maple trees. That same month, the Veterans Memorial Park was inspected by SJM Arboriculture Consulting Ltd to assess the safety, health and aesthetics of the trees. The arborist recommended a mix of tree removals, pruning and replanting to ensure the safety of the park and its users. The work will be phased based on priority levels.

Each individual tree was assessed and given a specific sustainability plan. This plan helps preserve these heritage trees and keep them in a healthy state for as long as possible. Unfortunately, some tree removals are necessary as the trees pose hazards in their current deteriorating state and can fall under heavy wind or the weight of ice and snow. A total of 16 trees will be removed (3 Norway Spruce and 13 various species of Maples) based on their unreasonable potential risk.

Many of the trees on-site are nearing 100 years old. As trees age and grow, mature trees become relatively intolerant of stress and site changes. Mature trees have been exposed to storms, environmental stress and disease pests over a long period of time. Subsequently, wood decay, root disorders and other structural deficiencies increase the risk of the tree falling.

Replanting

Trees provide incredible value to our outdoor spaces with natural shade, beauty, and environmental importance. We will be replanting 14 Maple trees in this park over the course of this project in pre-existing locations and where trees have been removed.

In October 2020, we replanted four Red Maple and three Sugar Maple trees on-site to replace those memorial trees that have been previously removed from Veterans Memorial Park.

We hope to repurpose this wood

Maple trees were planted at Veterans Memorial Park in memorial of soldiers who did not make it home after the First World War. We know these trees are an important part of Remembrance Day ceremonies and hold immense historical value. While we will be replanting trees in place of the removals, we want to do something special with the felled wood, if feasible. Based on the initial results from previously dismantled trees, most of the wood is compromised with rot and extremely decayed. However, we will evaluate each tree upon dismantling to assess whether we can collect enough non-degraded wood to repurpose it into something special. Subscribe for project updates and check back often, as we will be reaching out to the community for what they'd like to see done with the wood once we have more information!

Q&A

Curious about this sustainability project? Check out our extensive FAQ section and if you don't see your answer there, ask away! We'll get back to you as soon as possible

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    When will the work on the cenotaph begin? Council approved the repairs and the budget last fall - has the contract to repair the cenotaph been awarded? when will work begin? Will it be finished by Remembrance Day?????

    Deb Crawford asked 21 days ago

    Thank you for your question! The contract for repairs and refurbishment of the cenotaph has been awarded and work is scheduled to begin later this summer with an anticipated completion date this fall.

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    what replanting took place in the fall of 2020??? Has the capital budget been approved to complete the site water management and repair the grounds and the cenotaph in 2021??

    Deb Crawford asked 5 months ago

    Hello! Thanks for your question. There were seven maple trees planted on site in the fall of 2020.

    There was a capital project approved by Council in 2020 for Cookstown Memorial Park Rehabilitation which will include landscape works to improve the drainage on site, monument repairs, tree rehabilitation (maintenance, removal) and additional tree plantings.