As part of Iowa City’s Climate Action initiatives, the Parks and Recreation Department established new prairie ecosystems in 2019-2020. An additional prairie improvement project is being proposed to take place in 2022. The Parks Commission reviewed the plan at their September meeting and recommended the project move forward.
The improvement proposal includes areas that are currently in no-mow states and the cover is undesirable with few scattered native prairie species. The goal of the proposed plan would be to increase the vegetative cover which would enhance the ecosystem in the three areas.
The proposed improvement locations include:
- Terry Trueblood Recreation Area, 579 McCollister Blvd.
- Peninsula Park, 1867 Foster Rd.
- Iowa City Kickers Soccer Park, 4400 Soccer Park Rd.
The previous 100+ acres of prairie establishments are in their first and second years of life. Cover crop planting and native flowers have appeared. As the establishments enter year three of life more native grasses will appear. The establishments have ongoing maintenance during the first five years of life but overall will reduce the city's use of carbon. Ongoing lifelong maintenance may include periodic prescribed fire and mowing.
A Prairie Establishment FAQs document is available and contains the most commonly asked questions the City has received about the prairie project. Those interested in viewing the maps, as well as additional information on the improvement project, can visit www.icgov.org/parkprojects.
For more information or to provide feedback on this project please contact Tyler Baird, Parks & Forestry Superintendent at Tyler-Baird@iowa-city.org or 319-356-5100 x2069.