Blue Valley Park
Vision for a Healthy Action Area
Walking through this landscape should feel somewhat open and airy. In the upland areas: the rest of the park could support some native grass prairie reconstruction in select areas. The parking lots and roads could should have some rain gardens and bioswales treating the rain water that runs off of them.
Champion Team: Blue Valley Neighborhood, KC Park
Acres: 287 acres
Habitat: Oxbow wetland and riparian forest
Focal Species: Red Eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)
Mr. Kessler’s 1922 paper, “Special Report for the Blue Valley Parkway,” explored development of rivers in other cities and suggested that the areas near the Blue River had great natural beauty and the River could be “one of the most useful and beautiful waterways in the country.” Unfortunately, the portion of the Blue River near Blue Valley Park (BVP) has been egregiously altered to fix flooding problems. It looks nothing like a natural rive and doesn’t follow the original channel. However, there is an oxbow lake in BVP. An oxbow is a lake is a disconnected length of the original river channel, pictured to the right. The oxbow is really more of a wetland than a lake.
In the low land areas: Large native climax canopy trees that naturally grow along rivers for example sycamore, cotton wood, silver maple, swamp white oak. Under the trees are lower growing native herbaceous plants and shrubs. Mixed in are a few understory trees like paw-paw and service berry.
Invasive shrub honeysuckle
Invasive Japanese Hops
Invasive Johnson grass
Limited riparian vegetation/mowed turf to the edge of the river
Invasive species removal
Expanding riparian vegetation / tree planting
Install rain gardens, bioswales, and prairie plantings