Planting Trees at Phoenix Park

Phoenix Park Planting Several volunteers helped plant trees at Phoenix Park Saturday, April 27, for Arbor Day. More than a dozen trees were planted to help beautify the park. ? Missourian Photo.

The city will use a matching grant from the Missouri Department of Conservation for a habit restoration project at Phoenix Park, east of Rabbit Trail Drive.

An ordinance authorizing an agreement with the MDC was unanimously approved Monday night by the city council.

The city will receive $8,200 through the MDC’s Community Stewardship program.

Under terms of the agreement, the city will match that grant with $2,200 cash or in-kind services dedicated for the project.

Use of all the grant and matching funds or in-kind services must documented during the project.

Funds will be used to help introduce native plants to the parks system, as well as for the addition of a frog pond, wildflower meadow and other projects at Phoenix Park.

The overall goal of the restoration project is the creation or rehabilitation of habitats that can support plant and animal species native to the St. Louis region, according to Darren Dunkle, parks director.

The frog pond will help rehabilitate the shoreline of an existing stormwater retention pond. It will include removal of the existing vegetation and the placement and establishment of healthy, self-sustaining native vegetation throughout the shoreline of the basin.

The grant also will provide funds for the wildflower meadow, which will feature drought-tolerant plants.

The plants require less water and fertilizer and will reduce mowing and manpower, Dunkle said.

The $8,200 grant will be disbursed to the city no later than 30 days after the agreement is signed by state and city officials, according to the agreement.

The city will have one year to complete the work, however MDC has the discretion to extend the deadline for one additional year after June 30, 2015, “if sufficient progress has been made toward the observable outcomes and measurable deliverables,” the agreement states.

“Washington is allowed flexibility in carrying out the project to accomplish the objectives as stated in this agreement in the most efficient and effective manner possible,” the MDC agreement states.

Matching funds will include equipment purchase, equipment lease and maintenance, and expenses related to invasive species eradication. Allowable expenses include salaries, benefits, supplies (including chemicals and equipment lease), contracts, equipment purchase, equipment lease imd maintenance, and Washington’s indirect cost rate, according to the agreement.

The ordinance approved Monday night authorizes the city to enter into the agreement with the MDC for the grant.