The Western Promenade Master Plan, mentions one of the first objectives is to improve the vistas by doing selective clearing work. The two areas of the Western Prom slated for work include the Southern portion of the park with the obscured view of the Fore River by a large stand of Norway Maples and the second area is on Valley Street near the Community Garden and Dog Park. The first area being thinned is the Southern section, which consists of nearly 100% Norway Maples. In this area, all Norway Maples will be removed to reduce the invasive threat over the rest of the park, expose a beautiful decades hidden vista and open a path for more sustainable tree and landscape planting plan. There will be several large Red Oak and Black Cherry trees remaining in this area once the work is complete.
Removing invasive Norway Maples are key to the project. From the US Forest Service - Norway maple, Acer platanoides
Acer platanoides are able to shade out native understory vegetation such as spring ephemerals, and eventually out-competes native tree species in the forest canopy. Thus, it can reduce native species diversity and change the structure of forest habitats.
Until the overstory species are manages, the understory and habitat will continue to be suppressed. The replanting of native trees and shrubs coupled with additional landscaping efforts will improve these areas of the Western Promenade for years to come!
1924 Western Prom photo (above)- Note the absence of trees!