Commission Tour

On a warm Monday evening earlier this week I accompanied members of both our Conservation and Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources (PRNR) Commissions on a city parks tour.  The PRNR Commission has typically conducted an annual summer tour as part of a meeting to get into the field and see things first-hand.  They usually invite another city commission to go along on the tour- and this year that invite went out to the Conservation Commission.

Parks and Natural Resources Manager Stu Fox speaking to the group at the Prairie Conservation Bluff

The focus of this year’s tour was on sustainable and environmental-friendly practices that exist in our park system.  We made seven stops on the tour.  Here is a sampling of five of those stops, along with its highlighted conservation or “green” practice:

Cummins Grill House- This historic property has a native restoration plan that includes lawn space being restored with native prairie grasses and flowers.  Once established, this natural space will require no maintenance and will reflect much of what Eden Prairie looked like around the time the homestead was first established in the late-nineteenth century.

Flying Cloud Fields-We have implemented irrigation technology and water conservation equipment and strategies throughout our park system.   With the use of such items as rain clicks and soil sensors at Flying Cloud Fields, we can now very accurately calculate the amount of irrigation needed by the plants- saving both time and water. 

Round Lake Park- We currently have four recycling containers in and around the picnic pavilion area at this park for use by rental groups and the general public.  We are currently researching ways to enhance these park recycling efforts.  Some of the ideas that are being explored include: expanded use of specialty containers; better signage; and monitoring container placement to find locations where we can be the most successful. 

Prairie Bluff Conservation Area- Our park maintenance staff, with assistance from the Fire Department, conducts prescribed burns approximately every three years at the conservation area to promote native plant health and reduce/remove non-native plants.

Miller Park Splash Pad

Miller Park- Our splash pad at this park contains a water run-off collection system that is used to irrigate surrounding landscape plants.  We are currently looking into adding a drip irrigation system to allow the recycled water from the splash pad to landscape all of the beds around the Miller Park playground.