The following letter-to-the-editor from MPRB Superintendent Jayne Miller regarding the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden was published in the June 8, 2015 issue of the Star Tribune.
Removal of trees is necessary, but affection for them is understood
The removal of trees at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is unfortunate, but necessary. The June 4 commentary requesting that trees be worked around or transplanted (“Trees — living sculptures — have earned their place”) reflects how much Minneapolis residents and visitors value trees. We appreciate that. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board spends $10 million annually on our forestry efforts. Our commitment to the urban canopy is locally and nationally recognized. Our dedicated arborists plant and care for approximately 200,000 trees that line city streets and countless others in our 251 park properties. Each and every tree in the Sculpture Garden has been inventoried and studied as part of the Sculpture Garden reconstruction process. However, this reconstruction is not simply a surface renovation. It is a complete rebuild addressing existing below-grade drainage and infrastructure issues.
The need to remove 25 year-old trees to effectively address needed infrastructure was discussed during the extensive public engagement process. The reconstruction of the Sculpture Garden — both at and below the surface — will ensure that the new 360 trees to be planted will be there longer than 25 years.