Site work for Midland Trace Trail and Little Chicago Road Trail will begin Monday as trees along the planned trails will be cleared. Trees will only be removed from city-owned or public right-of-way land.

“Tree clearing is the first step in the construction process so the land can be prepped for site work. We’re excited to make these trail projects a reality and have them open for use later this year,” Mayor John Ditslear said.

Tree clearing will begin with the Little Chicago Road Trail. The trail project runs from Indiana 38 to the South Harbour Elderberry Entrance. Construction of this trail will begin this summer.

Following the work on Little Chicago Road, tree clearing will begin for Midland Trace Trail from Gray Road to Hazel Dell Road. Last year, the city hired an independent arborist to review the clearing plans and the site to inventory trees that are outside the footprint required to build the trail. The city will save all healthy non-invasive species identified by the arborist and will remove the scrub or dead trees along the path.

The first phase of the Midland Trace Trail will break ground this spring and is expected to be substantially complete by mid-September. The multi-use trail will be 12 feet wide.

Because of federal regulations for bat habitats, tree clearings must be done this time of the year before construction of the trails is ready to proceed. Large healthy trees that are removed will be used for logs. The remaining smaller or dead trees will be recycled for mulch.