Trees torn down at downtown Fort Myers’ Centennial Park

Centennial Park has been closed since October 2020 when the city removed the homeless population for plans of a renovation.

On Tuesday, trees surrounding the Uncommon Friends Fountain, were removed.

The tree removal was part of the plan but people are upset.

Community activists say the trees were part of Fort Myers’ legacy. They provided not only shade but also character to downtown Fort Myers.

Some are disappointed with the city’s decision to tear down the big trees and wish the people had more of a say in the construction process.

The renovation of the park has been delayed due to debates over how to spend a state grant and deal on a new amphitheater.

WINK News reached out to a city spokesperson about what is happening at the park and if the city had plans to replace the trees, but no one returned a request for comment.

Fort Myers Ward 4 Councilman Liston “Lin” Bochette, who represents the area, said the trees were about 30 years old. He said city council was not notified the trees would be removed.

Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson told WINK News the city is removing 90 non-native, invasive trees and plans to replace them with 130 native, non-invasive trees.

Anderson also said the roots of the large trees were starting to impact the function of the Uncommon Friends Fountain so the city had to choose between the fountain and the trees.

A rendering shows what a future amphitheater could look like. (CREDIT: Luminary Hotel)

 

Reporter:Taylor Petras
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