Two Grants Will Help Improve Phoenix Park - The Missourian: Local News

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Two Grants Will Help Improve Phoenix Park

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Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2013 7:00 am

The Washington Parks Department has secured two grants to be used at Phoenix Park  — including for a frog pond, wildflower meadow and the addition of more than two dozen trees to enhance the landscape.

Darren Dunkle, parks director, updated the park board on the projects at the November meeting.

The first grant, offered through the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Community Stewardship program, will help introduce native plants to the parks system, Dunkle said.

“The overall goal of the restoration project at Phoenix Park is the creation or rehabilitation of habitats that can support plant and animal species native to the St. Louis region,” Dunkle said.

The frog pond also will help rehabilitate the shoreline. It will include removal of the existing vegetation and the placement and establishment of healthy, self-sustaining native vegetation throughout the shoreline of the existing retention 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 department received $8,200 for the two projects.

Dunkle said the funds will be available in March or April and work will begin next summer.

The department has one year from when it receives the funds to complete the work.

Project CommuniTree

The second grant, “Project CommuniTree” will provide 26 trees in about 10 different varieties for the park. The trees will be picked up and planted this month.

Dunkle said the trees range in height, but are about 5 to 6 feet tall.

The grant was offered through Forest ReLeaf of Missouri.

The meadow, frog pond and tree plantings are all a part of the Phoenix Park concept plan.

The plan, which was approved by the city council in June, features native landscaped beds, retention and detention plantings, observation and fishing piers, butterfly/finch/hummingbird/fragrant gardens, a wildflower meadow, outdoor classroom, and a nature-themed playground.

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