Concerned about what a plan to cut down thousands of trees will mean for local wildlife, about 20 Guelph residents gathered Friday morning in protest.

“Our intent is to stop the work for the day,” said Annie Corbin, who lives near the property in question helped organize the protest.

“We’re gathering to honour this land, and to speak for land over money.”

The protesters were at a parcel of land along Howitt Creek, near Waterloo Avenue and Silvercreek Parkway.

The property is owned by a developer. The protesters say the developer plans to tear down 2,000 trees over the next few weeks, and has already started the work.

“Our big concern is that it’s going to sit barren for an unknown length of time,” Corbin said.

Protesters have voiced concerns about what the loss of the trees will mean for the monarch butterflies that live in the area.

According to the protesters, the developer has said more than 3,000 trees will be planted at the site, but only once it is developed.

By late Friday morning, there had been no direct contact between the protesters and any representatives of the developer, although Corbin said she had noticed “a whole lot of cars coming and turning around.”

City officials say they will monitor the work taking place at the property to ensure it complies with Guelph’s bylaw governing trees.