Current Projects in Glenwood Children's Park

East Slope Stabilization Project

DMNA's Parks & Gardens Committee is using several sources of funds to stop erosion from a steep hill located on the east edge of the park close to Glenway.  Late in March, 2016, city crews cut down a number of black locust trees.  The wood is resistant to decay making it ideal for outdoor structures.  Black locust trees are not native to southern Wisconsin and outcompete native trees.  They are alleopathic, that is, when they are alive, they release biochemicals that kill other plants around them.

In 2016, committee members applied for and received a $5000 grant from the Bock Foundation and located SP-15 funds held by the Madison Parks Foundation for use at Glenwood.  Starting in April, 2017, volunteers learned how to build brush bundles from Peter Nause.  These 20 ft long strands were then placed horizontally along with black locust timbers placed in a grid pattern.  Once soil is added to fill in the grid, native plants and shrubs were planted.  They will grow to stabilize the hillside and provide better habitat for wildlife.  About 35 volunteers worked a total of 110 hours on the project.  The project required hiring skilled labor to develop the techniques to make the brush bundles and to cut and fit the logs into the grid pattern on a steep hillside.  

Waterboxx Test Site  

A UW graduate student is testing a new device for effectiveness in increasing the survival of newly planted tree saplings.  The WaterboxxTM looks like a beige and green round plastic tub with a cover and a tree growing out the center.  The device collects rainwater and slowly discharges it so the tree can utilize water over a longer time than during the rain event.  A dozen new native trees were planted, half with the device and half on their own.  The trees are located in the northeast corner of the park.  The growth rates of the two groups of trees is being measured.

Maintenance of the Prairie Berm

The south entrance of the park has an earthen berm parallel to Cross Street which is planted in prairie plants and native species that Jens Jensen used frequently:  wild roses and hawthornes.  Each year, DMNA volunteers remove weeds and invasives in order to let the native plants become established.  One effective management tool for prairies is burning at the correct time to give the natives an advantage over invasives.  In 2018, we will examine the feasibility of working with other volunteers to burn the site. 

Erosion Caused by Stormwater Flows

Stormwater has been flowing through the park during intense rainfall events and cutting channels through the park.  The stormwater that flows through the park comes from the Westmoreland area and flows through a culvert that passes beneath the SW Path.  The original stone and concrete work is deteriorating and needs to be repaired or replaced without destroying its historical integrity.  A temporary structure consisting of sandbags will be placed inside the park near the culvert to direct the stormwater toward the inlet of the pipe that flows underground through the park and to Lake Wingra.  This should reduce the erosion that takes place when the water flows along the surface.