Undoubtedly. But people are attached to trees and sometimes undesirable trees simply look established, green and lush to some park users. I'm sure that the folks who voiced concerns, however, are pleased with the final result. I moved out of the area 12 years ago, so I personally don't even remember the trees in question.
True, I get it with the trees. Some of the trees were memorial trees too, but more toward the middle of the park. I'm not sure if they were taken down or not, I just remembered.
There was also a group last fall that were protesting and collecting signatures out front for several weeks because they didn't like the money being invested in the park, they wanted the money to go into shelters for LGBT youth. They continued postering and tagging the signs around the park all winter and spring, so that was also some of the resistance you may have seen or heard of.