The City of St. Catharines By-law Enforcement Division and Municipal Works forestry staff have concluded an intensive investigation into the reported destruction of City-owned trees and plants within the Martindale Pond area. The investigation has led to legal action against four individuals, each facing 194 counts, totalling 776 charges for violations of the City’s tree by-law. The charged individuals are slated to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice later this month to address the allegations brought against them. The City’s by-law to regulate trees on or affecting City property states that no person shall injure or destroy a City tree or permit the injury or destruction of a City tree, without a permit. Under the by-law, each person faces potential consequences of a minimum fine of $1,000 per count, or $10,000, whichever amount is higher. The community is urged to report any information regarding by-law violations such as unauthorized tree removal at stcatharines.ca/ReportAnIssue.