The Trenton Park Board discussed creating monarch butterfly habitats at city parks and Park Department lawnmowers at the November 2 meeting.
Missouri Department of Conservation Private Lands Conservationist Cliff Wilson said Trenton Mayor Linda Crooks wants to make Trenton more beneficial to pollinators. Mayors for Monarchs is through the National Wildlife Federation.
He proposed some areas at Glades Grimes and Moberly parks where pollinator plots could be placed. They included one in the southwest part of Glades Grimes and others near the old basketball court, World War 1 Memorial, and disc golf course at Moberly.
Park Board President Curtis Crawford said he was concerned about the area at Glades Grimes. Wilson explained he proposed that area because he believed it would be the least likely to be touched.
Park Board Member Gary Schuett suggested having the pollinator plot on the east side of the park near the ditch. Wilson said that if a plot was moved to the area near the tree line at Glades Grimes, that area would likely be unable to be used as a pollinator plot this year, but it might be a good place to have one in the future.
Park Board Vice President Andy Cox said the area near the disc golf course at Moberly Park might have a lot of foot traffic. Wilson noted the pollinator plot could add something to the disc golf course. Cox agreed that the more things there were to throw over and through, the better it might be for disc golf.
Park Board Member John Hamilton mentioned that two trees would be coming down near the World War 1 Memorial at Moberly Park. Wilson said a pollinator plot could be moved to where the trees were coming down.
The pollinator plots would have warm and native-season grasses. Wilson explained the plots would stabilize the area and be low maintenance. The areas would have to be burned off every three to five years.
He noted they do not look very attractive for the first few years. The third year is when the plots usually look like what is planned.
Wilson reported the Park Department would be responsible for the first spray of the areas to kill the current grass. The Park Department would also be responsible for seeding, mowing the first two years about twice a year down to around eight inches, and fencing the area to keep out people.
MDC would help with signage and herbicides if cool season grass “creeps in.”
Wilson noted a good time to mow would be in June. He said it would be best to do dormant seeding, ideally in December, for better germination.
There would be a 10-year commitment for Mayors for Monarchs. When asked, Wilson said he was not sure what would happen if a city wanted to back out of the program after only a few years.
Later in the meeting, after Wilson left, Schuett said he thought it was too late to start the project with MDC this year. The Park Board would not have a lot of time to determine how much the Park Department would spend to maintain the plots.
Park Board Member Beth Mack said she agreed that it would be something to consider in the future.
Crawford said he would let Wilson know the Park Board would like to look at the project again in 2023.
The Park Board voted to allow Park Superintendent David Shockley to secure bids for new mowers. This was after Shockley reported the Park Department has two mowers with about 1,500 hours on them, and they are both six years old.
He would like to purchase new mowers that are similar to what the department currently has. The current mowers are 72-inch Dixie Chopper XCalibers.
Shockley said it would be good to get bids on new mowers now. He was concerned that if the Park Board waited until budget time, the Park Department might not get new mowers for next year.
Crawford believes there would still be resale value to the current mowers. He reported that, in the past, other departments have taken equipment. The Park Board could also accept bids on the mowers or take bids online.
Schuett reported he and Hamilton toured Moberly Park, and he thinks someone should clean up dead trees. He said someone has done that in the past, and it would be good for safety, too. Crawford asked Shockley to look into the matter.
Hamilton encouraged the board to decide if a pickleball court would be put at the Eastside Park tennis court or the Glades Grimes Park basketball court.
Crawford commented that if a pickleball court was put at Eastside, a tree limb would likely have to come down. Hamilton noted the tree next to the tennis court was likely what caused problems with the court to start.
Shockley noted there could be a permanent or temporary net installed for pickleball.
Hamilton reported he saw Casey and Dalton Trask picking up trash at Eastside Park one day, and he thanked them for doing it. He thinks volunteers like that should be recognized.
October Terrific Kids from Rissler Elementary School also helped pick up trash. Crawford hoped community pride was being taught.
Shockley reported the bathrooms will be winterized at the Ebbe Sports Complex and Burleigh Grimes Field next week. The pool and other park bathrooms have already been winterized.
Walking trail work has been completed along 10th Street and the Burleigh Grimes right field. Shockley explained the project consisted of the removal of the parking lot, replacing a portion of the walking trail, and leveling out the ground for drainage. The area that had been asphalt was then reseeded. The Trenton Street Department helped the Park Department with the project.
Shockley said the Park Department has marked for a hydrant to be relocated behind the Eastside Park sign. The location has also been marked for the new Rock Barn sign, and digging is scheduled to start next week.
At least five trees have been marked for removal at Eastside and Moberly parks.
A swing set was installed at the Glades Grimes Park. More fall material was also added to the playground area.
Shockley noted four of the eight benches at Five Points have been leveled out. He commented the main cause is due to tree roots under them.