Four residents facing 700 charges for destroying trees in Martindale Pond area of St. Catharines

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St. Catharines is starting to crackdown on tree by-law offences in the Martindale Pond area.

The city has wrapped up an investigation into the destruction of city-owned trees and plants.

The investigation has led to legal action against four residents, each facing 194 counts, totalling 776 charges for violations.

The four are scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice later this month to address the allegations.

The City’s by-law to regulate trees on or affecting City property states that no person shall injure or destroy a City tree or permit the injury or destruction of a City tree, without a permit.

“This enforcement action represents the City’s unwavering commitment to protecting our green spaces and upholding our by-laws,” says Manager of By-law Enforcement Paul Chudoba. “We will continue to rigorously enforce these regulations to ensure the well-being of our community and its natural resources.”

Under the by-law, each person faces potential consequences of a minimum fine of $1,000 per count, or $10,000, whichever amount is higher.

“Protecting our trees and green spaces is not just a duty of the City, but a collective responsibility,” says Darrell Smith, Director of Municipal Works. “It’s important that we work together to ensure the health of our trees and safeguard the environmental assets we have in St. Catharines.”

The community is urged to report any information regarding by-law violations such as unauthorized tree removal at