The Parks and Recreation Department is establishing habitat corridors within our parks and property adjacent to parks. The habitat corridors create designated areas for pollinators and increase the biodiversity within our parks. These areas of native plantings will attract a range of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, beetles, and other insects.
Valley View Prairie
In 2020-2021, we established the first habitat corridor at Valley View Park. The Valley View Prairie is a nine-acre native planting area encompassing three parcels. One parcel is within Valley View Park and provides public access. The other two parcels are north of Valley View Park and do not have public access. We installed educational signs in the park to describe the importance of pollinator landscapes to the community.
Native Plants and Pollinator Landscapes Coming Soon:
Off the success of the Valley View Prairie, the Parks and Recreation Department is planning two other areas for native pollinator landscape:
Big Lake Prairie
The north portion of Big Lake Park will become a six-acre floodplain prairie. This area was formerly turfgrass and is ideal for a pollinator prairie.
River's Edge Shoreline
The Parks and Recreation Department received an Iowa Department of Natural Resources Resource Enhancement and Protection grant (REAP) to establish a five-acre shoreline prairie to the west of Tom Hanafan Park. We are planning another shoreline prairie on an adjacent five acres. Once completed, the Parks and Recreation Department will have ten acres of shoreline prairie along the Missouri River. This was once an area of invasive shrubs and weeds.