Lukin Murphy 10 months ago

The MKT trail section which is being restored after the Flatbranch Sewer project should be lined with native plants, trees, and shrubs. Specifically, I would like to see more use of edible and fruit-bearing plants. A map could be created with displays the location of these various edible plants along with the likely dates that they will be in season. This could be part of a "walking picnic" or other educational/experiential activity for school groups and other citizens. There are many potential community partners for this project, including Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, Community Gardening Coalition, Columbia Public Schools, Conservation Department, and Public Health organizations.

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Janet Godon admin 10 months ago

Thank you for posting your idea, Lukin. The Columbia Parks and Recreation Dept (CPRD) has plans in place to plant native plants, trees, and shrubs (e.g., sycamore, buckeye, witchhazel, etc.) along the trail corridor affected by the sewer construction. The MKT planting conceptual plan can be found on the City's MKT page here: https://www.como.gov/ParksandRec/Parks/MKT_Trail/index.php

In the near future, CPRD will introduce a new Adopt a Trail program. We're encouraging neighborhood groups and other organizations to adopt 1/4-mile sections of trail for invasive species removal and trail improvements. Edible landscaping (in areas with prior approval) will be one option for implementation. Our hope is that many of the organizations you list will be interested in adopting a 1/4-mile section within our Columbia Trail System. The initial planting by CPRD will also include some edibles (e.g. walnut, paw paws, persimmon, hazelnut). I like your idea of a "walking picnic" as an educational program!

I hope you can join us for the MKT Restoration Public Input Meeting (open-house style) on Wednesday, January 25, 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. in the Friends Room at the Daniel Boone Public Library. Janet Godon, CPRD Planner.

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Jennifer Sk 10 months ago

Thank you for working with native species and edibles! Please also check the allergen ranking of the plants! It is nice for people on the trail to not get attacked by pollens in the middle of a walk!

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Heather Hunt 9 months ago

I wanted to add on to Lukin's idea. Is there a way to leave some of the areas that the plan shows as native grasses, etc. that will eventually become prairie more open than just a mowed small trail to access the creek? There are beautiful spots open now because of the shrub removal that could be used for picnics, events, camping, etc. (for instance, Pedaler's Jamboree could use it for staging for a band, many running events could use it similarly, it could be used for wedding photos, etc.). Certainly, not all of it needs to be left open, but the area on the Quarry side, just north of the quarry (MKTPlanPage 2 and 3) is really beautiful as an open area with minimal cover right now. We love stopping there; I could imagine kids and dogs would love the wide open space to run / sit / play / eat. It's a delightful surprise seeing the wide open space - like a hidden park. If that's too much maintenance, I understand, but it's something we don't have on the trail and is a unique feature that we could make use of.

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Janet Godon admin 9 months ago

Jennifer, Thank you for your comments. We hear you. As I'm sure you are well aware, plant allergies are complex with not everyone having similar triggers to either wind-blown pollen or flowering plants. We will certainly keep your comments in mind as we move through this process. Janet Godon, CPRD Planner

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