Trees cut down at Eau Claire Plaza could be back as furniture

The City of Calgary’s plan to revitalize Eau Claire Plaza meant nearby trees had to be cut down. 

But they could still serve a purpose.

Dozens of pine, spruce, ash, apple and poplar trees were removed to make way for work on the plaza and its new look.

The material was taken offsite where it will dry, and then it will go to a local mill to be cut into boards.

A city official said some of that lumber will end up right back at Eau Claire Plaza.

Trees could become picnic tables

A project manager in the city’s parks department, Daniel England, said the wood could be repurposed.

“That lumber would be used in architectural elements, perhaps like harvest tables, picnic tables, seating and chairs and other features within the plaza itself,” said England.

The city has also reached an agreement to supply some of the wood to the carpentry program at Bowness High School.

“I just basically made a cold call to their carpentry program and asked if this would be something they’re interested in and we made that connection there and we got excited about this kind of collaboration,” he said.

It will take a bit of time though. England said the wood likely won’t be ready until sometime next year.

Stones will also find new homes

It’s not the only bit of recycling that happening with materials from Eau Claire Plaza.

Work crews also removed dozens of pallets of paving stones from the plaza.

England said about 500 tonnes of materials will be repurposed at other parks sites in coming years.

A rendering shows part of a redesigned Eau Claire Plaza. (City of Calgary)

Besides keeping the material out of landfills, he said the recycling will save money as the city won’t have to purchase more stones for other sites.

Work on the plaza is expected to continue for the next two years.

The $25-million plaza redesign is just one of several city infrastructure projects taking place in Eau Claire.

The city is replacing the Jaipur pedestrian bridge to Prince’s Island.

It’s also building a new flood barrier to enhance flood protection for the downtown and improving the Eau Claire promenade.

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