Loshytsa Park apple tree garden to be cut down, replaced with playground

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The Minsk
city authorities plan to cut down the Loshytsa Park's
apple trees and build a big children playground instead, according to the
design plan proposed by the Minskpraekt company and approved by all departments
concerned.

"Part of the 50-year old
garden will be removed because no one actually needs it. Walks for pedestrians
and a children town with small architectural structures will be built in that
place," Uladzimir Miroshchanka told ERB.

Employees of the Minskzelenbud
company, which is in charge of Loshytsa
Park landscaping, and
historians say that the apple trees are of no historic or cultural value. Anton
Astapovich, chairman of the Belarusian Voluntary Society for the Protection of
Historic and Cultural
Monuments, agrees.

"The apple tree garden
was planted in the 1950s and it does not have a historic and cultural heritage
status. In general, the garden has no link to any historical event. But again, Minsk does not have many
trees. If the garden is cut down and replaced with a building, it will be a pity,"
he told ERB.

Zoya Kazlouskaya, a department
head Fruit Growing Institute, argues that the trees were planted in the mid
1920s close to the Prushynki Estate, stressing that there had been a garden at
the same place in the late 19th century. 

"Some of the trees are as
old as one hundred years," she said, adding, however, that all unique
trees have been moved to the Institute's garden in Samakhvalavichy.

Miroshchanka denies that the
garden has valuable trees. "We have a scientific advisor to monitor all
these matters. In addition, all agencies concerned have approved the
plan."

Artist Nika Sandors on July 21
staged a protest against the planned felling of the apple trees. She says the
garden is the only quiet place in the city where one can pass time sitting on
the grass among trees. 

Photo by Anton Matolka