Archive for Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Rotary clubs cultivate arboretum proposal

June 10, 2003


On the trails that wind between Clinton Lake Softball Complex and the Youth Sports Inc. Sports Complex, walkers can see a couple of ponds -- and not much else.

Lawrence's Rotary clubs want to change that.

The clubs want to raise $50,000 by 2005 to create an arboretum in the area near the South Lawrence Trafficway, full of trees, grasses, flowers and other vegetation, all marked so that hikers can identify the plants they're viewing.

"It would just be a nice area for people to walk through," said George Woodyard of the Lawrence Rotary Club. "And it would be educational."

Woodyard said the Jayhawk Rotary Club and Lawrence Central Rotary Club also were behind the project.

The proposal goes before the Lawrence City Commission tonight. The city would have to pay $19,000 to help develop the site, plus ongoing maintenance costs.

City Manager Mike Wildgen said those maintenance costs shouldn't amount to much.

"It'd be a lot of natural growth," he said.

Woodyard said the Rotary clubs approached the city's Parks and Recreation Department with the idea because the international club will celebrate its 100-year anniversary in 2005. The clubs want to do an anniversary project that is visible, yet durable, "to honor the essence of Rotary."

"It's sort of an open-ended project," Woodyard said. "It could be done in different stages and probably would be.

"The city would probably put in species that are appropriate to the area," he said, "but with lots of diversity."

Woodyard said Rotary hoped to get the project under way by February 2005, but fund raising would begin immediately if the City Commission gave approval to the project.

The commission will meet at 6:35 p.m. in City Hall, Sixth and Massachusetts streets.

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