News & Public Notices
Archeological test pits to be dug in McBurney Park ahead of tree-planting
July 23, 2018 -
The City of Kingston must dig archeological test pits ahead of planting up to 10 new trees in McBurney Park to replace older trees that have been removed.
"The pits will show us where we can plant the trees. McBurney Park is also known as Skeleton Park for good reason: it sits on a cemetery that closed in 1860s and had the park built over it in the 1890s. Any digging in McBurney Park requires archeological testing according to the Cemetery Act of Ontario," says Troy Stubinski, operations manager for public works.
The City has contracted an archeologist to dig 22 test pits to find suitable locations to plant the 10 trees this fall and potentially more in the future. The City has committed to double its urban tree canopy over the next decade.
McBurney Park sits on the former Upper Burial Ground. It was Kingston's primary cemetery until 1850 when Cataraqui Cemetery was established. It is estimated up to 10,000 people were buried on the property before the cemetery closed in 1864.
"Archaeological assessments are a way of carefully reviewing resources that have been hidden for generations and documenting them for archival and educational purposes. Without taking the time to do this we could lose this opportunity and information forever," says Ryan Leary, senior heritage planner.
The City has conducted two major studies in McBurney in the past 15 years: an archeological study ahead of road work on Alma, Balaclava and Ordnance streets and another as part of the McBurney Park Landscape Renewal Plan.
For more on the City's Urban Forest Management Plan see: www.CityofKingston.ca/UrbanForest.
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