WOODBURY, Minn. — Don't mind the mess, they're getting rid of pests.
The city of Woodbury recently received a grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to get rid of invasive plants in Ojibway Park and reseed the land with native plants.
The seeding will include a mix of native species meant for forests, as buffers for ponds and wetlands, and those for emergent marsh areas and prairies, said Kristin Seaman, Woodbury's environmental resources specialist, in an email.
"Healthy, native ecosystems provide pollinator habitat and are resilient to climatic stressors, invasive plants and pests, and human impacts," Seaman said. "Native plants also protect and improve local surface water bodies, including lakes and wetlands.
The $375,000 in funding comes from the state's Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Program. The grant requires a 10% match from the city, which will be used for woody plant removal in more than 40 acres of the park, Seaman said.
The clean-up process will begin this winter with crews getting rid of invasive woody plants. Crews will begin seeding the land and spot-spraying herbicide in spring and continue through fall as different species emerge. A prescribed burn to curb the growth of non-native plants is proposed for the prairie area southeast of the park's ball fields, Seaman said.
Work is expected to continue through summer 2021.
A forestry mower will be used in larger areas of buckthorn and other woody plants, Seaman said, and hand-cutting will occur in smaller areas. At times, cuttings will be piled near trails and either removed or burned on site.
The city has done similar work in the past, including the use of a previous CPL grant to restore vegetation in La Lake and Prairie Ridge Park, which began in 2015.