In an auspicious start to the new year, an informal organization that calls itself the Weed Whackers, which has been joined by city public works employees, is vowing to clean up unsightly growth throughout the city.
This past week, city crews cleared another tree line, this one opening up a view from the Hogan subdivision to West Osage.
The brush-clearing project is the brainchild of City Administrator Harold Selby.
Initially, Selby and City Engineer Dan Rahn took weed whackers, chain saws, brushes and brooms and went into neighborhoods to clear weeds in alleys and other public spaces.
The goal was more than removing unsightly weeds, but involves a “greening” of the city.
As they worked, they saw the scope of needed work. Selby created a schedule for city crews to bring in larger equipment and clear some of the most overgrown areas.
One of the first big clearing projects was the tree line on the city park circle that runs along Brush Creek.
By eliminating scrub growth in the nongrowing season, the ground is prepared for a new start in the spring, Selby noted. Grass can grow in the area that was once occupied by weeds and vines, he said, creating a manicured park-like setting.
Last week, crews cleared another section of underbrush, this one near the entrance to the city from North Thornton Road.
One of the first things motorists saw when they turned onto West Osage was a tree line where undergrowth reached to the ground, completely blocking the view of anything beyond. In summer, the area was mostly green, but in winter months when leaves disappeared, an unsightly bramble of weeds, hanging vines and broken branches was revealed.
City crews cleaned up approximately two city blocks between Viaduct Street and Janey Lane, cutting and scraping away the brush and brambles beneath a stand of trees between West Osage and West Union streets, immediately east of the entrance to McDonald’s.