If you run, hike, bird watch, or spend any time Wilderness Park, Lincoln Parks and Rec needs to hear from you.
The Parks Advisory Board is meeting Thursday, June 8, at 4:00 p.m. in their new office at the Health Department at 3140 N Street, #300. It is crucial we fill the room with Wilderness Park users to let the administration know our views versus the views of representatives who may not know or visit the park.
A strategic planning meeting was recently completed with representatives from a number of local organizations (LTC, Run for the Bridges, Friends of Wilderness Park, THOR, and others), Parks and Recreation administration, and Nebraska Resources District. The meeting addressed bridges, flora and fauna, trail conditions, creek crossings, and trail management. Rosina Paolini of Run for the Bridges addressed the low priority, usage, and funding of the park, which equated to Parks and Rec mowing Wilderness Parks just four times a year.
Volunteers cannot supplement the work of city employees; they can only enhance the work of city employees. Although volunteers are a valuable community resource, they move, age, and may change their priorities over time.
Rosina and her husband, Karl, have been doing trail maintenance in Wilderness Park for many years and have been mowing between the city’s scheduled mowings. Their work is completely self-motivated through their love of the park. This year they started mowing the east side in mid-April. Joe Baryzki and Melanie Simpson took care of mowing the west side until their recent out-of-state move. Unfortunately the west side has not been mowed this year, and there are reports that the grass is waist high (on a six-foot runner).
Mowing more frequently helps the park dry out faster after a rain, controls the poison ivy, and decreases the mosquito population and the incidence of ticks. A busy parking lot full of park users is much better than a parking lot of people only using the parking lot.
Mowing the park with two tractors can be done in two days, which is far more efficient than weed whackers.
Wilderness Park needs to be a higher priority for Parks and Rec, and funding needs to increase. What is the solution?
The Advisory Board will be listening to questions and concerns at the June 8 meeting and will take a final vote in August. Please show up and show your support for Wilderness Park.