Northern Health logs hospital site due to potential birds nests

mills site 2

The process of logging trees to make room for the new Mills Memorial hospital started last week. Northern Health's Capital Projects Liaison Officer for the hospital replacement project, Sarah Artis, says Northern Health is still in negotiations with a potential builder.

However, if that agreement is finalized, it is possible for construction to start this summer. She explains that birds are starting to nest this time of year, and once a bird nests in a tree, legally, the tree and surrounding vegetation can not be cut down.

"To prevent any potential delay in construction start Northern health made the decision to cut trees down on the site now. About half of those trees were actually considered hazard trees. Whether they were dead or the tops were dead, half the trees cleared to facilitate potential construction."

She says Triton Environmental was on-site to conduct a bird sweep and nest survey and found three active nests. Once those nests are no longer in use, the work to clear those trees can begin. In addition, Artis says there are plans to restore some of the natural beauty to the area.

"The design is ongoing, but there are plans in place for beautiful landscaping and revegetation. Once the project you know, crossing our fingers. When the project hopefully proceeds, the plan is to have a beautiful site that is welcoming and safe. That is a big priority for Northern Health."

Artis recommends residents visit the "Let's Talk Northern Health" website for information and updates regarding the project. She also encourages citizens to share their opinions.