Archive for Monday, January 7, 2008

Residents directed to clean up Prairie Park

January 7, 2008


The city has asked homeowners whose property abuts Prairie Park Nature Center to remove items on park land.

A letter sent out last month to 40 homes said all items on park property will removed if not cleared by March 1. City surveyors identified the property lines and letters were sent to homeowners on the east edge of the park.

In some cases, gardens have been planted on park land. The letter states that any plantings not removed by the deadline will be considered donations that will be kept and maintained by the city if they benefit the nature center, 2730 Harper St.

Other items that have been spotted on park land are birdbaths, playground equipment and cords of wood. In other cases, the items are fences that were put in past property lines. Some property owners were not aware that their fences were on city property, said Mitch Young, supervisor of Park District No. 3.

"They just didn't know what the boundary was," Young said.

But Young and other officials said the city is willing to give homeowners an extension in more complicated situations, such as moving fences.

"If people have a problem, they can give us a call and we'll work with them," said Ernie Shaw, interim director of the Parks & Recreation Department.

Winter weather has slowed removal of items. Much of the land at Prairie Park was covered in snow last week.

"We're trying to be understanding because since the letter went out, we've had really rough weather," said Marty Birrell, Prairie Park nature education supervisor. "We understand that it may be spring before people get to that kind of cleanup."

The letter also asks homeowners to refrain from mowing on park property. Birrell said about 10 nearby households had mowed personal pathways into the park. Native prairie grass had been planted in those areas, she said, and mowing disrupts the movement of wildlife.

- Staff writer Kristi Henderson can be reached at 832-7222.


OnlyTheOne 10 years, 5 months ago

Oh right a land survey and boundary markers weren't done when these homes were bought. It's the same place all over town where personal property abuts parkland, the property owners encroach on the park property and consider it their own.

Thats_messed_up 10 years, 5 months ago

While we're talking about Prairie Park neighborhood, it sure would help property values if homeowners would actually plant some grass in their yards and then mow it more than twice a summer (grass also requires a little watering in the summer if you people know what that is.) Also it would help improve the look of the neighborhood if people would get their damn boats and campers off of their driveways which is against the Prairie Park neighborhood covenant-most residents probably don't know there is a covenant. Also get your cars parked in the driveway not in the street! There are lots of houses with long two lane driveways where a third car could be parked on one side at the end and driven around but that third or second car is always out in the street. There's also a new concept called landscaping and home improvement that about half of the neighborhood doesn't know anything about. Cheap slab houses and low interest rates are the reasons for the decline.

Steve Mechels 10 years, 5 months ago

While we are at it, why not take care of the park? "Prairie" Park my behind; when was the last time it was burned? The undergrowth and trees are getting so thick you can't even walk through it unless you are in a mowed or paved area. This type of ecosystem need to have fire to survive. If not, we will simply end up with a spruce forest instead of a prairie.

Dayna Lee 10 years, 5 months ago

I live a block from the nature center and I would just like to inform the city that it is insane to think that mowing is such a bad idea. You people have no idea how much nature you are growing and if the neighbors want a little space between the park and their property, more power to them. My neighbor's not allowed to grow grass 6 feet tall and neither should you. The snakes alone in this neighborhood are cause for such concern.

sourpuss 10 years, 5 months ago

I don't know why anyone would want to live in that ticky-tacky neighborhood anyway. Covenants... geez. Lovely place.

Ken Lassman 10 years, 5 months ago

The tallgrass prairie remnant that is showcased at Prairie Park is a real gem, and the sections of restored prairie that the city is trying to protect is well worth the time to protect, as well. I live out in the country and have some Conservation Reserve replanted prairie near my house and cannot count the number of times I have seen wildlife, been amazed at the beauty of the tallgrasses, take walks through it, etc., and I'm an old country boy who has mowed more than his share of grass--we call it hay out here. I'm thankful to have the unmowed prairie as a reminder of our heritage and if you live next to Prairie Park and think it ought to be mowed, then maybe you need to take some classes there to understand the whole idea of an ecosystem. As far as snakes go, they eat more mice than cats do, and are a darn sight cleaner to boot! You folks don't know how lucky you are. I hope you let your kids play there--we used to play along the creek, in the woods, in the prairie, and those were some of my favorite memories.

Hoots 10 years, 5 months ago

Praire Park does in fact have restrictive covenants that are recorded at the County Courthouse. I should know I helped write them. If need be voice of reason I will quote you the book and page of entry once I dig them from my files. I just love know it alls. Messed_up is correct.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 5 months ago

Let the yards grow however homeowners wish. Let yards go to trees and mow small portions to fit personal needs.

Lawns are high maintenance. Plant the entire yard in a Kansas landscape and include a small grassy area. The smaller the lawn the less the mowing and watering.

Check with Vinland Valley Nursery and/or the fairgrounds for some handouts and good advice. Fill the yard with several varieties of ornamental grasses and Rose of Sharons. Build rock gardens = beauty = no watering.

Taller grass keeps the ground cooler and retains moisture longer. Landscaping the entire yard with beds of grasses, shrubs,and wild flowers = bucks. Nothing but lawn = too much mowing. Go for the Wildscape. Think low low maintenace = bucks saved.

toefungus 10 years, 5 months ago

When you buy a home, you often have to get a survey. These surveys are not so much boundary as easement surveys. They are not very precise. A good boundary survey, far from know landmarks and pins, can cost thousands.

Susan Mangan 10 years, 5 months ago

Sorry, Messed-up, there is no Prairie Park neighborhood covenant. There is no neighborhood assiciation and no specific ordinances that apply only to Prairie Park (and not the rest of Lawrence). I work for the board that enforces neighborhood and code violations. Boats are perfectly legal in driveways, as long as they're on an "improved" surface. That's why many boat-owners in Prairie Park have extended their paved driveways to allow a boat, in addition to their cars. If you don't like the amenities that your neighbors have, you're always welcome to move to a neighborhood that does have a neighborhood association and stricter covenants.

Steve Mechels 10 years, 5 months ago

I have to agree; I also have a copy of the covenants from when I bought my house just over two years ago. I border the park, and no haven't encroached with a garden, etc. I still don't see a huge issue with folks mowing a path to get to the park easier. Most of the paths are only three feet wide.

For those of you who live next to the park, here is a more troubling issue. How many times have you been woken by loud parties, squealing tires, etc. at the park in the middle of the night? I would like to see the parking lot chained off about 10 or 11PM.

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