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.