Colony Park, west of Mead Junior High, is beginning the long process of landscape management and restoration. Located at 1920 Baltimore Drive, this park is an open land site with walking and biking trails for public use and enjoyment. Natural area management helps to control storm water, increase plant and wildlife diversity as well as reduce weeds. Set to begin in early October 2018, the Elk Grove Park District’s goal is to showcase the quality natural landscape that can be achieved through proper management and careful plantings. The project is being paid for by the developers of the Elk Grove Technology Park.
The park’s nine acres are going to be under the care of Integrated Lakes Management, (ILM) which aims to reduce invasive species and re-establish native plants to provide a better habitat and become more environmentally sustainable. ILM will use a combination of buckthorn cutting and removal, controlled burning, spraying and other methods to control invasive species like reed canary grass and teasel. Native species such as switchgrass, sedges and flowering forbs will be planted later after the weeds are controlled.
Improvements will also be made to the boardwalk between Delmar Court and Mead Junior High School. The sidewalk at that location will be closed for several weeks due to maintenance. The new elevated boardwalk will improve drainage and provide better access to the park.
The Colony Park Wildlife Habitat Restoration Project will restore wetland, stream and upland habitat within the 17 acre park. The following lists some of the expected project benefits.
- Restores a historic wetland to a native dominated community
- Restores and establishes a native dominated buffer which will benefit native pollinators, such as bees.
- Enhances/restores woodland to native dominance
- Significantly increases the wildlife benefits and function through removal of non-native species, increasing species diversity and habitat value.
- Improved wildlife habitat for especially for amphibians and raptors, such as owls due to reduced non-native shrub cover which will allow owls to hunt under the tree canopy.
- Restoration of streambank through the Park.
- The project will include a management and monitoring program, which includes management activities such as prescribed burns, supplemental seeding, tree and shrub replacement, and herbiciding.
- Prescribed burns shall be completed in accordance with the attached Conservation Management Guidelines for the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee.
- The restoration project will maintain a natural aesthetic feel and appearance
The entire project is expected to take several years to complete. Plans for Colony Park landscape management and boardwalk improvements are on display at the Elk Grove Park District Administration Office located at 499 Biesterfield Road. Hours are Monday through Friday 8:30am to 4:00pm. Call (847) 228-3513 for additional information.