Residents Concerned Over Tree Cutting

By Seth Daniel

As residents grow concerned over the removal of about 40 trees on Constitution Wharf at the newly branded Constitution Center, the developer of the property said it is only temporary growing pains that will be rewarded with a first-class landscape in the near future.

Nadine Firth, who lives in Constitution Marina, said she was horrified last week and weekend when trees along the HarborWalk and on the Constitution Center property began to be cut down.

She said she counted about 40 trees that were removed as part of the re-branding and redevelopment of the Center – which is owned by MassPort and managed by Charles River Real Estate, a division of National Development.

“Potentially more than 40 trees have come down or will come down,” said Firth. “It’s horrible. When projects are permitted, they are different than when they are completed and the full impact isn’t realized until it happens. We’ve gone from what was a green HarborWalk to what is now a barren landscape in a week…Urban trees are tricky and successful ones are hard to come by.”

She said the trees have been in place about 17 years, and they offer an oasis for those in the Navy Yard who don’t have a backyard or open space in their developments.

Meanwhile, Tucker Kelton of Charles River Real Estate said they plan to do a complete enhancement of the landscape plan around the Center to match the investment in the buildings. He said it may be shocking now, but the end result will be a great improvement.

“There will be some pain during the transition, but I think everyone will be happy with the end result,” he said.

He said they have hired landscape architect CRJA to completely redesign the existing landscape, to include an enhanced pedestrian experience and even outdoor seating and phone charging stations.

“There will be changes during the transition, but at the end, the landscaping will be enhanced and the pedestrian experience will be very much enhanced.”

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