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      Chehaw Parks closing for two weeks

      The trees are being thinned out to help the health of surrounding trees and so they don't fall on other trees

      Chehaw Parks will be shutting down for two weeks beginning Jan. 16 for some tree maintenance.

      The park TMs Natural Resource Manager Ben Kirkland says they are in the process of marking trees that will be cutting down as a part of the thinning process. He says thinning trees helps give other trees more room and resources to grow, but they're also taking out some of the trees because bugs infected them with diseases.

      "With the last two summers being so hot and dry we've had a lot of bug kills, ips beetles have killed a lot of trees on the park, and because of the condition of some of these trees that are diseased and in bad shape I finally convinced them to 'Let's go ahead and thin this stand so that the forest that we have in public use is healthy,' says Kirkland.

      Kirkland says park attendance is low this time of year anyway, so the park thought it would be a convenient time to close. Chehaw will reopen January 28.A timber company will be helping to take down the trees through Jan. 27. Kirkland says normally a timber company contract for thinning trees is six months but because Chehaw is a public park and needs to be open sooner, a two month contract.