Wednesday, May 30, 2012

319 Grant - Planting the Step Pools

Over 30 people from three City Departments and the County planted 700+ plants in two hours!  On Wednesday, May 23, folks from Parks & Recreation, Water & Light,  Public Works and Boone County Resource Management came together to install plants for the step pools.  With seasonable temperatures and bright sunshine, everyone was eager to begin.

The planting plan was designed by Parks & Recreation Horticulturalist Jen Sieradzki (pictured at left with Phillip Vanhove and Mike Shipley).  The plan includes a Eastern Redbud and River Birch trees, Fragrant Sumac and Button Bush shrubs and lots of Prairie Cord grass and Switch grass, River Oats, Tussock Sedge, and Blue Flag Iris.  Native plants are used because they are acclimated to Missouri weather extremes and soils.  Native plants also tend to root deeply providing protection from erosion and encouraging infiltration of surface water.  By absorbing water, native plants reduce stormwater runoff and its associated pollutants.  Wet-loving plants are planted within the channel, and other plants, shrubs and trees are planted along the channel banks.

Creating pockets for plants to thrive.
Ryan Woods, Tom Wellman, Kyle McReynolds, Allison Anderson and Terry Freeman

Tom Wellman and Michelle Ortbals transferring topsoil to planting pockets.

Blue Flag Iris and Tussock Sedge were planted inside the step pools where they will be wet more frequently.  With such rocky structure, it was necessary to create pockets where soil could be placed and retained in order to plant a plant.

In the bottom of the channel planting bags were used to establish the plants.  Burlap bags are filled with soil and a plant, then placed in wet spots.  The filled bags will stay in place, even during heavy stormwater runoff events.  Eventually, sediment will naturally fill in around the plantings and provide opportunities for plants to multiply.

Chris Easley and Jay Hasheider finding a niche to plant some plants.
Rusty Shay and Tim Pohlman planting River Oats along the edge of the channel.

Georganne Bowman and Ed Bulliner Preparing to plant Button Bush.
Shipley planting a plant!

Kyle George watering newly planted vegetation.

Although established native vegetation does not require irrigation, the establishment phase of any planting requires lots of water.  Installing plants prior to a hot and dry long weekend required lots of watering before and after the weekend.  We're looking forward to some rain in the forecast!

Most of the planting crew.

Thanks to all who helped, we could not have done it without you!