Phase two of the park refresh is now complete. This includes improvements to the front entrance of the park off the parking lot, including new plaza area with interpretive signage and demonstration plantings. The restroom is now open and a picnic park has been developed in the front grass area. City leaders and project partners dedicated the new park upgrades on September 21, 2021.
Construction on updates to Kathryn Albertson Park initially began in September 2019. The focus of the first phase of the park refresh was landscaping with irrigation modifications and converting some open turf areas to meadows. Future phases will include installation of a boardwalk and overlooks that will allow park patrons to enjoy the park. New signage will include wayfinding and education components focusing on nature, the environment and wildlife in the park.
The reason some grass turf areas in the park have been replaced with meadows and pollinator gardens is because one of the goals of this park refresh is to reinforce Kathryn Albertson Park’s identity as an intentionally curated naturalized park. The meadows provide enhanced habitat for native insects, birds and small mammals while helping to mitigate some of the geese in the park, as a meadow isn’t their preferred grazing environment.
For reference, meadows have a diverse variety of plants and flowering annuals and perennials to many different grasses, making them more interesting and dynamic. Unlike typical lawn grass that has a thick thatch, meadow plants generally grow in independent bunch-form grasses and forbs. The meadows look thick and lush from eye level, but thorough inspection will reveal a small proportion of bare ground between the vegetation.
Three meadow types have been installed throughout the park based on site conditions and potential use:
- The seasonal mow grass meadows will be a blend of short grasses that will reach approximately a half-foot in height during the growing season. Though primarily located in areas of the park that are less frequented by visitors, during the spring and for special events, these meadow grasses could be short enough to be used by the public for picnics or other passive uses.
- The pollinator meadows consist of a blend of flowering annuals, flowering perennials and low-growing grasses. The function of these meadows will be to provide forage and habitat for insects and animals and visual interest to park users but will not be areas were park users can walk. This meadow blend will be used primarily along the periphery of the Seasonal Mow Grass Meadows and as a transition at the margins between pathways and the site’s larger shrub and tree plantings.
- The wetland meadows are riparian grass areas used to rehabilitate wetland meadow sites and serve as the appropriate blend of meadow species for the vegetated swales designed to treat the sites’ storm water runoff.
Unlike traditional lawn, meadows take a longer time to establish because robust growth doesn’t occur until after the second growing seasoning for many of the meadow plant species. The addition of annual flowering plants in the meadows will help to offset the slow growth rate of many of the perennial flowering plants and grasses.
We appreciate your patience and cooperation throughout this transition period for the park.
If you have any questions, please contact us.