Mandan News

Vern Davis: Cleanup plans for Graner Park

Hello from Morton County Parks.

Here it is February already – sorry that I missed the paper last month, the blame is all mine. I guess you could call it a senior moment.

Spring is quickly approaching and so is the busy season for us. It is the time of the year when all the plans should be at least put down in rough form, so here goes:

I’ve had quite a few inquiries about what will happen to Graner Park and when it will happen. Here is a general outline as Tim and I see it and recently discussed.

First will have to be the removal of trees. The crew has cut quite a few which were obviously dead, tipped over or had floated into the park during the flood last summer. We will not know how many more will have to be taken down until the growing season is here and everything that is still alive will green up. Cottonwood traditionally survive flooding much better than soy box elder, ash, pines and fruit trees. The problem is, there are a lot of the kinds that don’t do well and so this could lead to a bunch of cutting at a later date. A lot of these will be put in a couple piles and later burned.

Second, we will have to get a backhoe in and dig out as much of the root system and stumps as we can. These will all have to be disposed of.

Silt and sand removal will be a major job in certain parts of the park and little or none in others. There are spots where long drifts of the stuff are over three feet deep and in others, grass was growing at the time of freeze-up. The road ditches have quite a bit of sand in them and this will have to be taken care of.

Once those jobs are done, we can have electricians come in and redo that system.  Well over half of the electric boxes were underwater and the codes say they must be replaced. I saw the inside of one of these and it was chuck full of sand and debris.

Okay, so far so good. Now comes decisions of what types of trees to replant? Again, an expensive process. Do you start over with small trees or spend more money and get larger ones? All of these decisions will have to be made, not by one person, but we will need help and advice from people in the know as well. Finally, roads, grading, gravelling and so forth will have to be done. Again, another expensive process. So that is a basic outline. I’m sure I missed a step or two, but that’s about it in a nutshell.

The work will start on the west or upstream part of the park where there are electric outlets and go to the east or downstream part. This will take time but I believe the park will come back and be more used and beautiful than it was in the past.

There are other projects which will be done in our parks system. I’ll try to get a handle on that next month.

‘Til then, have a good month, spring isn’t too far off!