Trail through the Prairie
No one is allowed to drive on the trail or in the prairie area. There have been complaints about a construction businesses accessing the back of a property by driving through and across the prairie area. The only vehicles allowed on the trail and the prairie are prairie maintenance vehicles and official city vehicles.
Prairie Conservation Efforts
The board unanimously approved the hiring of Inger Lamb from Prairie Landscapes to renovate the Association’s prairie conservation area. We recognize that the conservation area has not lived up to our aesthetic expectations so we are excited about the knowledge and expertise that Inger brings with her and we are looking forward to the improvements she will be able to provide to our prairie area.
Part of the renovation project will include the elimination of eight of the nine existing mulched planting beds that currently line the conservation trail. These beds provided limited enhancement to the prairie area and proved to be of significant expense to maintain.
Inger will also be spraying and spot mowing the entire prairie area to eliminate unwanted growth which she will then replace with 600 native plantings followed by heavy native seeding. We can expect to see an almost immediate visual improvement to the prairie area which will only continue to progress as the plants and seeding take hold. Once the plantings become fully established they will not only visually enhance the area but they are expected to provide better erosion control and significantly reduce the prairie’ s yearly maintenance costs.
The Ashton Pointe HOA regularly conducts prescribed burns of the prairie area located within the association. The areas that are burned are behind homes on Wickham and Enfield, along the city bike trail. The burns are conducted by Stantec, a private natural resources management company with experience and training on the use of fire as a management tool, and under permit issued by Polk County. In nature, fire is essential to maintaining the integrity of prairie. Fire is a natural occurrence that helps the plant and animal communities in prairie and prescribed burns offer a way to use fire in a helpful manner.