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LA MESA, Calif. — La Mesa’s oldest park will undergo renovation starting Monday as part of its proposed $3.5 million project.

The City of La Mesa announced tree contractor West Coast Arborists will remove “roughly 21 trees” at Collier Park to provide “quality open spaces and parks,” closing portions of the park from Jan. 10- 14.

“For 41 years, the City of La Mesa has earned the designation as a Tree City USA, which underscores our commitment to the urban tree canopy and the crucial role green spaces play in our Climate Action Plan,” La Mesa City Manager Greg Humora said. “We want to reassure the public that these trees will be replaced, as we look forward to the continued growth of our urban canopy.”

According to city officials, the large Magnolia tree near the Spring House will remain while the timber from the Eucalyptus trees will be recycled and repurposed as site furnishings and nature playgrounds elements at Collier and other city parks.

With the start of construction for the park’s rehabilitation happening this summer, city officials say the tree removal process must come before the bird nesting season on Jan. 15.

Other planned renovations over the summer include new restrooms, lighted tennis/pickleball court, shaded playground/fitness area, looping ADA compliant access path around the park, security cameras, site lighting, new parking, a picnic shelter, sidewalks, enhanced plazas, upgraded landscaping, including a mix of turf, trees, low water use vegetation and storm water quality enhancements.

The project should be completed in late 2023.