Pharos-Tribune

June 6, 2013

PUBLIC FORUM: Areas are more than unkept grasses


Pharos-Tribune

---- — Wildflower plantingsrequire patience

The mayor’s office as well as the parks office has received several inquiries about high grasses at various parks. We would like for the public to understand that these areas which are posted “Grow, Don’t Mow” areas, are deliberately left to grow and that signs can be seen in the Logansport Parks that explain the goal of these seemingly unkept grasses.

Last year, the Logansport Parks Department planted an alternative to lawn grasses. With the help of Boy Scout Caleb Sedam, warm season grasses and natural wildflowers were planted to reduce the time our staff mows in areas that are difficult to mow, or are regularly not used by the public. In addition, these native Indiana plantings require little or no chemicals, and no watering. These warm season grasses and wildflowers create long-term cost savings while they provide habitat and food to sustain wildlife through the seasons.

A successful location that is well established is the hillside along the Little Turtle Waterway Trail on either side of the 3rd Street Bridge. This was first planted in 2001, and was fully established after 2-3 years of growth. It is maintained annually through the use of prescribed fire burns on a patch-work basis. Each year, a different patch of the grasses are burned to allow wildlife a chance to find other habitat within the same area.

During the spring of 2012, we planted wildflowers and warm season grasses in the following locations:

• The hillside on the north side of High Street at Spencer Park

• The south side of Melbourne along the railroad tracks

• South of Steinman Field at Fairview Park

• A 10-foot strip between the Eel River Run and the road at Riverside Park

• The northeast corner of Huston Park.

Much of the undeveloped land at Huston Park will also be planted in warm season grasses in 2013. We look for all of these areas to see more substantial growth in 2013, and will assess their success at the end of this year.

There is no doubt that these areas require patience as the various wildflowers bloom at different stages throughout the summer, and the grasses become more stable and progress to their ideal maturity. It’s easy to think that these areas are simply unkept grasses that should be mown. The goal of the Logansport Parks is for the public to recognize these “Grow, Don’t Mow” areas as a new opportunity to enhance and preserve our environment right here in the City of Logansport. If you have questions or comments, feel free to contact me at 574-753-6969 or email at admin@logan parks.comcastbiz.net.

Janet Fawley,

parks administrator