Roanoke Park report details ecological restoration plans

The Roanoke Park Conservancy has completed a detailed “Ecological Master Plan” for the park including details about how the park’s historical ecology should be restored.

The guide is part of the conservancy’s third master plan, which shows projects that have been completed and details about future plans.

A volunteer-driven effort to reclaim the park began in 2010, with nearby residents cutting back non-native invasive shrub honeysuckle.

In 2011, the newly-formed park conservancy submitted its first master plan to the Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners. Based on input from the surrounding neighborhoods of Roanoke, Coleman Highlands, Valentine and Volker, that plan contained design principles for the park including: connecting the park to surrounding neighborhoods; creating a sports district; updating playgrounds; adding lighting and signage; creating a rain garden; and creating quiet places within the park where its view can be enjoyed.

The new report lists the work that has been done so far, including single track hiking/biking/nature trails that were built between April 2011 and June 2013 under the leadership of Earth Riders Trails Association and Brett Shoffner using all volunteer labor.

It also contains detailed plans for the ecological restoration, based in great part on the principle of using Missouri native plants in all ecological restoration “due to their historical appropriateness, ability to sustain local insects, birds and wildlife, and long-term sustainability once established.”

The plan calls for the slopes of the park, in general, to be managed as open woodland. It also sets out plans for the glades, springs and wet meadows within the park.

“The topography of the park lends itself to a great diversity of plant and tree species being represented in the park,” the report says.

It also states that all slopes of the park that are not mechanically mowed should be considered ecological restoration zones, and on their way to becoming open woodland, glade or wet meadow standards.

To obtain a copy of the master plan, visit the Roanoke Park Conservancy’s website 

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