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ComEd doing tree maintenance along bike path

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(David Thomas - dthomas@shawmedia.com)
A worker uses a skid loader to clear trees Tuesday along a nature trail near Sycamore Road as part of ComEd’s efforts to prevent vegetation from interfering with power lines.

DeKALB – The workers clearing trees and brush that people using the nature trail between First Street and Sycamore Road saw Tuesday were doing the work on behalf of ComEd, utility officials said.

Workers have been clearing the area near power lines that run between Sycamore and First.

ComEd spokeswoman Krissy Posey said they are following state and federal law by removing and trimming trees next to electric power lines along Sycamore Road.

“This routine tree maintenance is critical to maintaining proper electrical clearances that ensure public safety and electrical reliability,” Posey said.

An on-site manager for Asplundh Tree Expert Co. declined to comment, asking that all questions be directed to ComEd Public Affairs.

The trees Asplundh workers were clearing ran along a prairie path where Lois Schwanke often walks her dog. Schwanke described the work as “devastating,” and said what she saw was like “a bomb went off.”

“I think they’re going to lose a piece of beauty,” Schwanke said.

Schwanke said she drives out from Cortland regularly to walk her dog there.

“People walk it in all the seasons,” Schwanke said. “The trees block the cold wind in the dead of winter.”

Posey said the Arbor Day Foundation, a nonprofit conservation and education organization, has “recognized ComEd’s approach and philosophy for balancing public safety and reliability while protecting and preserving trees for the past 13 years through its Tree Line USA Utility recognition program.”

She added that the tree-cutting would allow more natural grasses to return to the area.

The prairie path is formally called the Nature Trail, and it runs between Sycamore Road and North First Street.

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