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Dec11

Summer rains boost native species

Summer rains boost native species

Above-average precipitation in 2018 and 2019 accelerated the establishment of many of the park’s native plants. Blue grama grass began to dominate the grassy area along 4th Street. This came to the park as prairie sod that was cut from a rancher’s pasture.

The buffaloberry bushes on the west side of the park continue to spread creating a thick, lush barrier between the park and Hardee’s drive-through lane. The bushes produced bunches of red berries for the first time in 2018. Other species that were planted and are doing well include prairie cordgrass, maximillian sunflower, big blue stem, western wheatgrass, dotted gayfeather and purple coneflower.

A couple native species that are also thriving, but weren’t planted, are wooly verbena and inland salt grass. Both are volunteers - plants that sprouted from seeds that naturally found their way into the park through water, wind or birds.