the mowers came to Arcadia Trail park this week

Feeling sad and very frustrated. They brought big mowers into the park and mowed down all the milkweed and other wildflowers. They took down the cattails that were filtering water before it went into the creek. We were just getting beautiful fields of wildflowers, increasing numbers and varieties of butterflies and other insects. There is no need for a lot of this mowing. Understand where there are ball fields and activity areas, this is necessary. But we have vast fields where most people never wander, except for those of us who actually really enjoy nature, that should be left until the plants have gone to seed. Unfortunately I guess there are people who want a "manicured" park...

Publicado por taogirl taogirl, 30 de abril de 2015, 04:46 AM

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Hey Judith,

It's of little consolation now, but do know, you are not alone... I too struggle with mowers and the culture of mowing -- the idea of a manicured lawn being a healthy lawn will be a tough one to break. I think there's this perception that if the grass/plants are of a certain height, danger is inevitable (snakes, vermin, etc...). I can't stand it, but that's the way it is... right now.

I suggest talking to the park superintendent of the Fort Worth Parks and Rec and see if you can get "No Mow" areas at Arcadia. You may have to back it up with some information (milkweeds and host plant for monarchs, diversity documented on citizen science websites, save money reducing the time to mow if there is a large no-mow area), but perhaps you can get an area or two designated as No Mow...

Sorry about the frustration. Again, you're not alone!

Publicado por sambiology mais de 6 anos antes (Sinalizar)

Thanks Sam. We have one "tall grass prairie restoration area" that is only mowed every four or five years. We seem to have several layers of bureaucracy that have mowing responsibility here, the city, the neighborhood association and PID 6. I believe it is at the PID level where the extreme mowing is occurring. I am going to send them pictures of what was going on in the fields just before this mowing and how it looks now. The mowers tore up the soil too as the ground is so wet. We have also thought about getting a petition to bring to them from people who are sympathetic to keeping more areas of the park natural. Maybe with some information about the benefits and some public support, we can make a dent in this culture.

Publicado por taogirl mais de 6 anos antes (Sinalizar)

Hi, you are not alone!! I have been in talks with the Fort Worth City Parks for 2 years now trying to get them to moderate their mowing regime in Chuck Silcox Park, West Fort Worth. We started with 4 bluebonnet areas, marked out by the Parks Dept and myself. The first week they were all mowed. the next mowing half were cut. then they were left until the bluebonnets had almost finished flowering and were then mowed so no seeds were set. This year we have 14 areas for bluebonnets and only a few small areas were mowed but the contractors have not mowed any of the park for about 4 weeks! Including the areas they were supposed to mow! The local neighborhood association and I are now trying to get them to leave at least 5 yards from the creek and a couple of other areas ( containing carpets of Crow Poison and Rain Lillies) were we want single footways mowed through the middle of unmown areas.; they are not keen in the Parks Dept to change mowing regimes but they are gradually coming round. At the end of last year, every inch was mowed of the 20 acres, creek bed, creek banks, everything. I was all mowed within City guidelines of 2 inch high cut, + or - 2 inches!!! They caused ruts, panning of soil,increased the amount of erosion from the Park and scalped large areas. We are lucky that the Neighborhood Association is behind me and that the Park was named after a well known and respected local Councillor. I have cited erosion control, ground water replenishment, water cleaning, biodiversity,asthetics as reasons for leaving 5 yards from the creek un mowed and we have also got our local councillor involved in the loop to bring a little more pressure on the Parks Dept. We have also asked them to change the regular mowing height to 3 inches + or - 2 inches to try and reduce the opportunities for invasive plants(especially Bastard Cabbage!) and reduce scalping and erosion. We are lucky we do not have to deal with an HOA as the only one I have experience of has absolutely no horticultural knowledge ( or even much common sense!) ie it insists on 2 trees in every front yard-- standard plot that 1 of those horrid Bradford Pear things will fill.
If I can be of any help to you please ask!
My heart and Park bleeds along with your heart and Park!

Publicado por andyk mais de 6 anos antes (Sinalizar)

Thank you Andy. It does feel better in one respect to know we are not alone, that we have allies in our efforts to protect our natural environment; however, to know you have had to fight for years for the same kind of issues is also discouraging. Jeri T aka Naturenut has been fighting for this park for many years and is terribly frustrated. If we could just get them to set aside a few more areas where wildflowers are naturally growing and people seldom wander to be unmowed until after going to seed it would be such an improvement. So far we have been fortunate that the areas along our creek have been left alone and are full of brush and protective zones for our wild life. I know there are some that want to "clear" that all out. They have done this where our creek goes into Buffalo Ridge Park, part of Haltom City. Hopefully we can prevent that occurring up here.

Publicado por taogirl mais de 6 anos antes (Sinalizar)

Dont be too disheartened! The Parks department is gradually easing off the mowing and the Neighborhood Association is talking about buying some seeds from 'Native American Seeds' to reinforce the no-mow areas. The people around here particularly liked the replenishment of ground water effect, from not mowing the grass so short or the creek banks, as I told them it would keep their foundations moist and less likely to crack up, they were very keen to approve the idea of less mowing after that! If you can find something like that to catch your neighbors you may find more people supporting you in you efforts.

Just keep trying, Here we seem to have 2 steps forward followed by 1 step back, just ask Sam ( he seems to bear the brunt of my frustrations) how down I have been at times. As they say, when you fall off your bicycle, the best thing to do is get straight back on it!

Publicado por andyk mais de 6 anos antes (Sinalizar)

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