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NW Side Residents Upset Over Tree-Cutting Plan

CHICAGO (CBS) -- There's an uproar in a Northwest Side neighborhood around Horner Park over plans to take out all the trees along the Chicago River from Irving Park to Montrose.

The Army Corps of Engineers now says it will push back its plans to bulldoze trees by a week, so the community around Horner Park can have more say in the process.

The project was planned years ago, but the federal money is only now available.

Uproar Over Tree Cutting At Park

"The community has changed," said 47th Ward Alderman Ameya Pawar. "The park has changed. The use of the park has changed. So let's make sure everyone can co-exist."

Community activist Pete Leki said a lot of people agree with the need for the project but not the indiscriminate bulldozing of trees on the west side of the river.

And he said he thinks the Corps is trying to accommodate the community.

"I sure hope so, and I kind of expect so."

Lt. Col. Kevin Lovell of the Army Corps of Engineers said: "These people are deeply and emotionally invested in their neighborhoods, as I am in mine, and we want to hear their comments so we can see if we can attempt to address some of those."

The next step: The Corps and residents will walk along the river through Horner Park to discuss the plan, on Thursday at 5:15 p.m.

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