Sioux City Council Designates Prairie Corridor as Natural Park
SIOUX CITY, IA —
The City Council has approved a plan that would create more green space for Sioux Citians to use for exercise and recreation.
The council wants to use one of three areas that are called a "Prairie Corridor" for that purpose.
The area being targeted for this project is more than 250 acres of land near the waste water treatment plant on Lewis Boulevard.
The land would also be used to bring back native species of grass and plants.
Nearly two centuries ago, Sioux City was a natural habitat for prairie, wildlife and animals in the Loess Hills.
Settlement and industrialization damaged the prairie; now, the city wants to change that.
"So what we're doing is we're trying to reestablish those species back into the area and to do that we not only have to replant some of those species to get them back here but to also make sure that the trees don't come back that- would you know- ultimately would kill the prairie off again," says Derek Carmona, Sioux City's Environmental Services Analyst.
Plans to preserve the city's natural history include erosion control and planting more native species.
Currently the prairie blends in with several other invasive species and plants, giving off the appearance of any normal grassy area, but within the next few years and with the proper care, officials believe the prairie will become prevalent and in its natural state.
The open space will serve as a new public park, with nature trails for bicyclists.
It will also be a classroom of sorts, where people can learn the history and science behind the ecosystem.
"In the end, we'd like, you know, students to come out, schools being able to come out, cubs scout, boy scouts that sort of thing-- anybody whose interested in coming out and learning about the prairie would come out here. We'd have the signs, we'd have the information for everybody, similar to the Floyd Monument," said Carmona.
The Prairie Corridor is expected to be completed and open to the public next summer.
For more information on its development, visit https://www.sioux-city.org/prairie-corridor.