Monday, November 22, 2010

November 23, 2010, agenda for wpwp meeting

Lisa Netherland's agenda for a meeting

1121 Duncan Avenue World Peace Wetland Prairie

Meeting 1:00 p.m., Tuesday November 23, 2010 on site


Review each item below, determine who is responsible for each (P=Parks V=volunteers)

1. Maintenance

A. Mowing

Front area and among gardens – approx. 2x/mo during growing season

AJS YES, BUT mowing is needed only when actual growth has occurred. The most valuable part of the nonnative species mixed with the nonnative grass on the entryway and around the peace and butterfly gardens is the white clover that was planted when the two houses were removed from the property and it was left with no vegetation to prevent erosion BEFORE it became WPWP. Clover provides early spring, dry summer and late fall sustenance for pollinators. It usually gets mowed repeatedly.

Path in prairie area—5 ft. wide 1 – 2x/month during growing season

AJS NO, the standard on the state-owned prairies in Northwest Arkansas is to mow 2 feet wide for walking path. There is no reason for a wider path.

Brush hog prairie area – 1x/yr (Jan. or Feb.)> (every other year if controlled burn occurs.)

Note: area to be brush hogged must be clearly marked to avoid equipment operators from

crossing waterway

B. Prairie

Remove seed heads from fescue/dig clumps

Remove fescue, replace with native grass and forbs

Controlled burn

C. Gardens (Butterfly and Peace gardens)

Remove perennial and grassy weeds (manually+ spot herbicide) mulch w/city mulch

AJS NO herbicide use. The perennial and grassy 'weeds' in the peace-circle garden are nearly all native. No one should weed there unless that person is confident of which are non-native invasives. All the natives are host plants for native, beneficial insects and provide food for birds.

Mulch should be used IF AT ALL only in the space between the peace-circle garden rock-lined garden spots. NEVER in the peace-circle garden where variety rules and pollinators gather in abundance. There should be no substance or practice on the land that might threaten the health of native plants, insects, frogs, toads, birds, mammals or any other living thing.

Feb/March – cut back plants to ½ ft.

AJS WHICH PLANTS would that apply to?

Introduce additional native species where room allows

AJS If anything is introduced, it should be a local native. Nothing purchased from outside the immediate area. Native seed and perennials for transplanting are easily acquired locally at no cost but volunteer time.

D. Herbicide

AJS says: NO herbicide, no pesticide.

Bermuda from garden edges/paths, mulch heavily w/city mulch

Poison ivy from Duncan St. area

Fescue in prairie: after brush hog, spot spray w/Roundup

AJS says: NO ROUNDUP anywhere on the property. We get far too much pollution of silt and unidentified chemicals form the apartment complex to the north without adding anything.

E. Trees/woody invasives (removal)

Pear tree,

Silver Maple

Amur honeysuckle

AJS says: If you are referring to the callery pear near the front, removing it would be acceptable, although it fits Dick Bennett's original reason for donating one-fifth of the purchase price of the land. He wanted an international stand of trees to emphasize the World Peace theme. His $25,000 donation was to claim naming rights. We were unsuccessful in finding a list of trees native to the various continents that would be hardy in Northwest Arkansas but non-invasive. The China honeysuckle bushes and the Japanese honeysuckle vines made acquiring oriental trees to plant seem illogical. Temperate-zone trees around the globe seem to be pretty much the same species or too closely related to be significant for the purpose. Selected non-invasive nonnative flowering plants in the front area do represent Dick's original idea for an international garden.

Another reason that Lauren and I have introduced annuals and some bulbs to the front portion (including some of Cindi Cope's diverse tulips near the street was to add early season beauty to the entry and street view. Another reason is that in spring few native flowers are in bloom when the first butterflies appear. And in fall the pollinators all need extra sustenance to prepare to migrate or grow to a condition to over-winter on the land.

AJS says: Silver maple is a native wetland tree of the eastern United States. It volunteered where it is, probably because it had been there for decades and its roots survived being brush-hogged many times in the past. The WPWP is the central flow area of a much larger prairie which has been paved over on the north and northwest by an apartment complex and on the southwest by a large parking lot for trailers. Basically, all of WPWP is a riparian zone where trees and many native shrubs would always have grown. Tall grass of the traditional wetland types would have been native in that area. A look at the 1965 aerial photo of the area shows how some the flows occurred before various attempts to ditch and drain the area occurred over the decades.

In light of the karst geology, those flows likely developed above the areas over the karst bedrock breaks through which water seeped back into the groundwater system. See the Washington County Karst Map on which WPWP, adjacent property including our half-acre and the Pinnacle Foods Inc. prairie land are identified in the brightest red as over a major bedrock fault and thus a significant groundwater-recharge area.

F. Other considerations

Existing WPWP signage-

AJS says: The big blue "sign" is a KIOSK really, and reflects the history and original plan of WPWP. It was designed by Lauren Hawkins with wording carefully crafted over several weeks of drafting and tightening its phraseology by Melissa Terry, Dick Bennett and Aubrey Shepherd. Its posts are about ready for replacement, however. Curt Richardson put up the posts. I paid for production of the sign with a check to the sign shop, although I was told by Melissa Terry that an anonymous donor had paid for it. I never followed up to see whether my check was cashed. Too busy to check such things. Another neighbor framed the blue sign and that, also, needs repair or replacement after five-and-a-half years in the weather.

The metal sign near the street was provided by Lauren Hawkins in winter 2009-10 to make it easier for people to recognize the place. If the park department provides official signs, we'll happily take it home.

AJS says: Signs needed include the following.

No dogs off leash on any portion of WPWP.

Please walk on the mowed paths

No motorized vehicles near or west of either of the entry gardens. No bicycles or other wheeled vehicles past the front of the butterfly and peace-circle gardens.

Please do not pick flowers. Please photograph them and invite others to come with you to see them next time.

Standard set of nature-park rules. I have researched them some in the past and have a tentative list some place. Many examples from many cities are available online.

Park-closed hours.

Plant-identification labels for front garden area.

AJS says: We have used various things for that purpose in the past but they are not treated with respect by some visitors or would-be helpers. We tried using recycled objects to mark things not mowed but those got tossed away. We tried bought-ready-made wooden strips colored red or orange for the purpose, but those mostly disappeared within a growing season.

Pinnacle property/fence/nature path to Pinnacle/Prairie Multiuse trail

AJS Pinnacle Prairie path must be carefully designed to avoid stands of important native plants and must be only 2 feet wide and avoid the several flow areas across the area where button bushes grow.

BUTTON bushes and WILLOW trees must be protected wherever they exist or volunteer. Illinois River watershed BUYS and spends money planting willows along de-vegetated streams and ditches, while the same plants are being wiped out by dredging and mowing of many small streams and ditches in Northwest Arkansas. And green ash saplings must be removed by hand work near stands of button bush. Green ash trees and button bushes grow together in such seasonal wetland in many places across the eastern U.S., but the green ash dominates if left to stand and block the sunlight from the other native species.


AJS Yes, it would be wonderful to be able to do a limited about of watering during the multi-week droughts that seem to hit every summer. The natives will come back but a small amount of water at the right time can minimize the dead look that seems to attract the most criticism visitors. Lauren and I have more than tripled our water bills several summers by watering from our hose through the fence to the black hose that Curt Richardson provided for use on WPWP.

2. Design

Duncan Ave. border - remove invasives (honeysuckle/privet) replant w/appropriate native shrubs.

AJS says: Lauren has cut down and even dug out some of the honeysuckle and privet along the front at times and did it rather heavily this fall. But it always leaves the front section open to view from the street and vice versa and the comforting privacy people sense when sitting on the benches and at the tables is reduced drastically each time this is done. So replacement plants are needed quickly. Some sort of native replacement such as Coral berry (buck brush) can help. We have some there, but it has been easily assumed to be privit or China honeysuckle and wiped out repeatedly. Another important one is the native bush known as Indigo bush. The state highway mows it and dredges it out of the ditches down near the stream crossings every year. It can be found and transplanted early and will usually survive it watered a bit the first year. WPWP has three stands from which seed can be collected next year. It should never be brush-hogged but on WPWP needs Japanese honeysuckle removed every year in flow areas with some hanging over the paths that we sometimes tie back. They aren't impressive except when in bloom in early to mid summer.

prairie area entrance

Invasive plant replacement plan and species

AJS removal there is OK, but adequate native replacements that will also replacement the bird-nesting sites in the area will grow slowly.

Boardwalk over southern area of delineated wetland (see Concept Plan)

AJS says: The best thing would be to acquire black or gray heavy plastic pallets that are used for shipping heavy items into the region. They are available cheap or free in many places. I can find those. Building a boardwalk will damage the land much more than such pallets. They last a long time and do not add the chemicals to the soil that come with treated posts and such.

A. Other Volunteer activities :

Adopt-A-Park application

harvest seed, propagate

equipment use forms