Roanoke Park supporters adding wetland, playground

roanoke park partyThe Roanoke Park Conservancy learned Friday that it won a $3,500 state grant to beatify a natural spring in the park.

Park supporters announced it at a Friday celebration at Prospero’s Books, along with other planned Roanoke area improvements.

Last week, $75,000 in PIAC money went into an account to pay for new playground replacing the one on Karnes Boulevard.

Neighbors are in the planning stages on that and it will probably be completed in phases, they said.

The city parks department also is providing two prefabricated playgrounds to be installed near the tennis courts.

The new state Department of Conservation grant is for Coleman Highlands Spring, which is on the slope below the Coleman Highlands neighborhood north of Karnes Boulevard.

It is to be matched by $2,000 in money, labor or both.

The work will put in plants and create a rain garden and small wetland and be the latest in years of neighborhood improvements to the park.

Like much of the rest of the park, the spring area was overgrown with shrub honeysuckle before neighbors and parks department workers freed it of that.

In the last few years, volunteers have also hauled away trash, put in trails and used a state grant to help pay for a tree inventory.

A largest common persimmon tree in the area – standing 84 feet tall – is next to the spring.

The spring is a fen habitat, which is rare in Kansas City, the park conservancy reports. Fens are boggy areas fed by a constant supply of ground water.

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