Saturday, February 8, 2014

Feb 5, 2014: Hayden Park News 11

Sundogs at sunrise. 1/27/14 (Kevin Kane)

I am pleased to send you the annual report for 2013. Approved by the Board of Directors on 1/30/2014.

Friends of Ada Hayden Heritage Park
2013 Annual Report

Invasive Species
We purchased 700 seedlings of native shrubs from the Iowa DNR State Nursery. These were planted in an area infested with volunteer Siberian Elm. At our request, the city removed several large Siberian Elm trees this year that were the seed source for this stand of young elm. City staff then mowed the area with a brush mower prior to planting the native shrubs. Species planted were: Chokecherry, Gray Dogwood, Hazelnut, Ninebark, Serviceberry, Wild Plum, and Nannyberry. Dr. Richard Hall and his Silviculture class from Iowa State University provided a tractor and tree planter to assist with the planting. An additional 25 seedling Highbush Cranberry donated from the Story County Soil and Water District were planted by hand on April 26. City park staff mowed between the rows of the planting later in the summer and mulched the seedlings. Severe drought accompanied by high temperatures in July and August may have killed many of the small seedlings. An inventory will need to be made in spring of 2014.

In June, a strong effort was made to eradicate musk thistle in the park. This was done by first removing flowering heads and placing them in large plastic garbage bags. Then the plants were cut at ground level with a hoe or “corn hook” and let lay. The flowering heads were composted in Erv Klaas’ backyard bins. Our volunteers have read a lot about musk thistle and they all understand how difficult it is to control this invasive species. It will take several years of cutting and removal before we have musk thistles eradicated, if ever. Thanks to all who helped: Al and Ida Johnson, Jon Hunstock, Wolfgang and Annamarie Oesterreich, Fritz and Susan Franzen, and Erv Klaas.

Interpretive Programs
Two activities were held in early September in recognition of Iowa Prairie Heritage Week. For the first event, Deb Lewis, curator of the Ada Hayden Herbarium at ISU led a group of about 10 people on a prairie walk on September 9th. Later that same week, Deb sponsored a gathering of folks in the prairie who read poetry and prose about prairies on September 12th. Wolf Oesterreich led three bird walks at the park: May 23, 30 and June 23 (at Pack the Park Event).

Recreational Events
On June 15, a fund raising event on our behalf was sponsored by Skunk River Paddlers and JAX Sporting Goods. It was called “Pack-the-Park” and featured a slowest bicycle race, a canoe tug-of-war and canoe and kayak races. The sponsors presented us with $240.

September 7 and 8, a group of local bicycle and paddler organizations held the Great Ames Adventure Race (GAAR) at the park. Individuals and groups competed in a triathlon-type race featuring running, bicycling, and canoeing. Proceeds of this event were also donated to the Friends and netted $800.

Outreach and Education
Kevin Kane continues to maintain a blog and website featuring photos and news of the park. Over two years there have been approximately 50,000 hits to the web page. Kevin also created a Facebook page this year that now has 250 followers. Wolf Oesterreich has faithfully kept up his surveys of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, lepidopterans and odonates. His observations are summarized each month and published on the Reflections web site. Erv has assisted in the odonate surveys and Wolf and Erv have prepared an illustrated talk on the “Dragonflies and Damselflies of Ada Hayden Heritage Park.” The talk was presented in February at the annual meeting of the Iowa Chapter of the Wildlife Society in Ames and to the weekly seminar of the Natural Resources Ecology Management Department at ISU on October 4, 2013. The blog spot can be found at

Ames Art Walk
Kevin, Wolf, and Erv showed their photos from AHHP at the June Ames Art Walk on Main Street. A silent auction was held for four large framed prints. Kevin and Kelly Poole produced books and greeting cards of photos from the blog. About $240 was raised for Friends of AHHP.

Erv Klaas

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