Work begins for Burlington park upgrade

BURLINGTON, N.C. -- A popular park in Burlington is getting an upgrade, Willowbrook Park will soon become the Willowbrook Arboretum.

This month, crews started working on one important part of the project -- stream restoration. It involves chopping down unhealthy trees along the stream banks.

"It certainly is necessary as part of the project several of the trees may appear healthy but they are actually diseased," said Bob Patterson, water resources director with the City of Burlington.

Stream restoration will last through most of the summer and while some might be sad to see some of the big trees go, they will be replaced. Once the arboretum is finished it will be home to 100 new trees, new plants, a paved walkway, a children's garden and a space for educational classes.

"So many people today are removed from this type of world, they spend the time in offices and on cell phones and they are busy traveling to and from work and this is an opportunity to learn the outdoors," said Rett Davis, president of the New Leaf Society.

The New Leaf Society playing a major role in the project. The organization is paying for the arboretum which will cost a little more than $2 million. The new Willowbrook Arboretum is expected to be finished within the next three years.