The Superior-Douglas County Family YMCA is prepping for a parking lot expansion. About 50 trees have been cut down along North 21st Street for the project, according to property manager John Furry.

A "free" sign was wedged between the cut logs that remained on the property Wednesday, Nov. 13. The stumps will remain in place through the winter and be uprooted during excavation work.

“We had a window of time to take care of the trees this fall here and we hope to begin work in the summer of 2020 on expanding our parking lot,” YMCA Chief Executive Officer Chris Stenberg said.

The project will add 35 parking spots. That will increase the capacity of the current lot, which has 78 spaces, by nearly 50%.

Tree removal began Saturday, Nov. 9, according to Furry.

At peak times, between 8-11 a.m. and after 6 p.m., the YMCA parking lot is packed.

“From 6 p.m. on there’s not a spot around,” Furry said.

Signs on the doors to the facility encourage people to park across the street on the western side of the National Guard Armory lot. Members services lead Gloria Lundquist said many of the YMCA staff have started to park at the armory to open up space near the building for the public.

“It’s a good bad problem to have, for sure,” Lundquist said. “The armory has been very gracious to let us park there.”

Lake Point Church also offers overflow parking on its lot, which is kitty-corner from the YMCA.