Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Red Oak Park, Again and Again

The Red Oak Park was the subject to a long discussion again at the Ward 4 meeting. The same old stuff was rehashed again. We had a suggestion of redoing the storm drainage in the neighborhoods so that water is no longer flowing into the park. Wow, is that an economically feasible option! Aubry once again preach the Gospel of Rain Gardens. Again, this should have been done in the initial planning of the neighborhoods. There is no way the City can legally force people to maintain rain gardens on their property. Look, a lot of these residents are renters who have a difficult time keeping their homes garbage free. No way are they going to upkeep a rain garden. The Parks and Recreation are looking into what it would take to put in a detention pond. I don't think there is enough room for it and even if there is, it would destroy all the trees and vegetation on the south end of the park. The south end also has the most usable part of the park. It currently has a small track and a playground. Say goodbye to that! That leaves the plan that Mr Dale Evans has proposed. Sad to say, no decision was reached. Well, there was a decision to have another meeting. Arghhhh!


aubunique said...

Val, I agree that rain gardens should have been required on all development sites for decades. They have been used in many cities for decades and people in the past didn't pave much and grassy swales (vegetated ditches) were standard before curb and gutter became popular and required in many places. Now low-impact development experts advocate only rare use of storm and gutter in residential areas. Ditches and grassy swales don't have to be mowed much if they are planted with Vinca or other low-growing, low-maintenance plants to prevent erosion that in many cases fills them.
I believe that the money to rechannel the storm drains near the upper end of the park to a large rain garden inside the bounds of the open space would be less than rerouting the water inside the park stream. If we don't stop a high percentage of the flow during flash floods, the erosion will continue and the park will remain unusable most of the time.
I believe that people who study the rain garden concept will understand that maintenance is minimal once they have selected the low parts of your property for the garden or gardens and guided the water there. Native flowering plants don't require watering during dry periods and NO MOWING. By keeping mulch on top of aborbent soil in the rain garden a person can easily suppress weeds (defined as plants you don't like) and encourage the chosen ones.
Please visit the Red Oak Park blogspot

Rain gardens reduce stormwater runoff

and comment. Also, please visit the flickr site for various sets of photos on aspects of World Peace Wetland Prairie and photos of many of the flowering native plants that work in rain gardens.
WPWP is a natural 2-acre rain garden with native plants already there. The nice thing about creating a rain garden on bare ground is that only a bit of grass has to be dug out. WPWP had a heavy growth of Japanese honeysuckle and fescue that we will be working to remove for sometime to come!

If you will share the link with others, maybe we can get some serious dialogue going on the Red Oak Park blogspot and on your site and other sites before the Feb. 11 meeting. So far, I have seen only a couple of anonymous posts on the new blog. It will be nice to have another registered blogger posting to give credibility to what is being discussed. But I set it up to accept anonymous posts because some people just fear speaking out in public.

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