The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

January 11, 2014

Land near Campbell Parkway could become urban prairie

JOPLIN, Mo. — The owner of eight acres on Campbell Parkway is offering to sell the parcel for use as city park land. The landowner — whom the city did not want to identify until the acquisition has been finalized — bought the land a number of years ago so that it would not be developed.

Tony Robyn, the city’s disaster recovery coordinator, has worked on obtaining the land along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Missouri Prairie Foundation. He said the federal wildlife agency has agreed to buy the property, which is near Texas Avenue between 15th and 20th streets, and provide money to maintain the property through its Mined Lands Remediation Fund.

If the deal is completed, ownership would be turned over to the not-for-profit Missouri Prairie Foundation, which would clean and replant the property as a natural green space. Robyn said native grasses and wildflowers still exist on the property, which would provide seed to replant the area.

Returned to its natural prairie-savanna state, the land could be used as a demonstration site or an outdoor classroom for students.

In addition to native plantings, explanatory graphics of the prairie could be erected and trails could be installed.

Trees that are believed to be thriving despite tornado damage could be retained on the property. There are a number of damaged and dead trees that will have to be removed, Robyn said.

In a city memo, Robyn wrote that, “Given the proximity of the new high school, the Missouri Department of Conservation and Audubon are interested in utilizing the area for student learning and stewardship activities.”

Joplin superintendent C.J. Huff said last week he was not aware of the proposal but that the school district would look forward to participating.

Having more outdoor space close to neighborhoods for relaxation and recreation was cited as an important need in a 2010 parks survey the city took of residents.

Robyn said residents will derive a number of benefits from the addition of the site to the city’s parks lands because it would serve as an area that could absorb stormwater runoff and be a groundwater recharge area as well as insulating residents around the parkway from the 20th Street corridor, which is under redevelopment as a result of the tornado.

“Given the intense redevelopment efforts along 20th Street, additional park space will enhance growth and provide additional vegetative buffers to residential homes and developments,” Robyn wrote. Such types of green space help reduce heat retention in urban areas.

The acquisition work is nearly done but will have to be approved by the Joplin City Council. Robyn said the Missouri Prairie Foundation would have up to five years to clean the property and recultivate it if the deal is approved. After that work is done, ownership will be transferred to the city at no charge, he said.

“It gives the opportunity for the community to see what native prairie looked like,” he said, noting that there is little original tallgrass prairie left in Missouri.

Maintenance of the site would be minimal once it is returned to prairie and those costs would be paid for 75 years under the agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Protecting 3,300 acres

THE MISSOURI PRAIRIE FOUNDATION has been instrumental in the protection of 3,300 acres of prairie in the state, 700 acres of which were conveyed to the Missouri Department of Conservation. The not-for-profit foundation still owns more than 2,600 acres of prairie in 15 tracts around the state, many of which are in Southwest Missouri and are open for public use. To learn more, got to www.moprairie.org.

1
Text Only
Top Stories
  • r071114redoak2.jpg Red Oak II: Lowell Davis’ ‘dream, art, love’ and final resting place

    The collection of buildings would become a town (though he didn’t intend for it to, and it has never been officially recognized either by the U.S. Postal Service or the state of Missouri).

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Anti-landfill group seeks grand jury probe

    As more than 200 people filed into Riverton High School on Sunday to attend an anti-landfill group meeting, many stopped to sign a petition asking the Cherokee County District Court to summon a grand jury to investigate how land was acquired by the city of Galena for a proposed landfill.

    July 27, 2014

  • Money clouds farm fight

    For much of the summer, while the campaign surrounding “right to farm” has been focused on its impact on “small, family farmers,” the bulk of the money pouring into the fight has come from big agriculture interests.

    July 26, 2014

  • r072514schoolhouse3.jpg VIDEO: Full of history, one-room schools focus of preservation by local groups

    The old Kings Prairie school sits on a narrow Barry County farm road, surrounded by quiet fields and farmland.

    July 25, 2014 6 Photos 1 Slideshow

  • 072814_jd anderson.jpg VIDEO: Noel strongman advances on talent show

    The past week has been busier than normal for Noel resident J.D. Anderson. Members of the production crew for NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” told him they have shot more footage of him than of other contestants for the next episode. “They said I have the busiest schedule of anyone this week,” Anderson told the Globe in a phone interview Friday. “There’s so many fun things you can do with B-roll as a strongman.”

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • r072314girlgunclub3.jpg Women's league offers practice, social opportunities for gun owners

    The objective for some is to improve their skills for target or competitive shooting, the league's website says. Others, while wanting to improve their skills, also are interested in aspects of self-defense.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • r072414trainwreck2.jpg Train crash a century ago among area’s worst disasters

    Burk Johnson had been threshing wheat near Joplin when his newlywed son and daughter-in-law picked him up and took him to Joplin’s Union Depot to catch the evening train home to Neosho.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • 072614 Faith 2.jpg Rich Brown: McDonald County Children's choir combines music with a gospel ministry

    The McDonald County Children's Choir may entertain a lot of people, but the hope is that it will bless even more through its ministry, according to choir director Amber Nelson.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Appellate court upholds class-action status for Picher residents

    An appellate court upheld a 2013 ruling on Thursday that a class-action lawsuit brought by former residents of Picher, Oklahoma, against a Tulsa-based appraisal firm involved with the buyout of property in the city can proceed.

    July 25, 2014

  • 1717 Marketplace developer faces more federal charges

    The developer of 1717 Marketplace in Joplin has been indicted with more bankruptcy fraud charges, in addition to those leveled against him last year for a series of bank fraud and wire fraud schemes that totaled more than $3.3 million in losses.

    July 25, 2014