12 October 2012

Plantings to Enhance Creeks along Happy Hollow

A large variety of trees and shrubs are being planted along Happy Hollow Boulevard by Omaha Parks, Recreation and Public Property.

Eric Gustafson planting along Happy Hollow Creek. October 11, 2012.

The plantings will "help mitigate for the vegetation we had to remove for the creek repair work," said Pat Slaven, a planner with the city department. "I specified smaller plant material that come in grow bags and allow for a healthier root system, but which also allows a larger variety of species."

Included in the variety of 60 trees and 90 shrubs to be planted, are Buckeye, Horsechestnut, Serviceberry, Chokeberry, Pawpaw, Shagbark Hickory, Gray Dogwood, Hazelnut, Wild Plum, Elderberry, and a couple types of Viburnums, as well as Catalpa, Goldenrain Tree, Japanese Tree Lilac and Tuliptree.

"The plants were selected for wildlife value - food, habitat, etc. - as well as to provide a diverse range of color, texture and interest when viewed from Happy Hollow Boulevard," Slaven said.

The first plants were put in place on October 11, by Jensen Gardens, and they will finish this work on October 15-16th.

Some of the unusual species included in the variety, and not typically planted are Goldenrain Tree and Pawpaw, Eric Gustafson explained as he worked along Happy Hollow Creek. "All of the species at Nebraska hardy," and appropriate for growing in the area.

Most of the plants will be placed along this creek, with the others at one spot along Wood Creek, at the Elmwood Park ravine.

Once the plants get established, they will provide seasonal variation in flowering, leaf coloration and texture, Gustafson also indicated.

The cost of project was about $15,000 including two years of maintenance by the contractor, Slaven said.

Maintenance will include watering as appropriate and "touching up the mulch" as needed, Gustafson said.

This funding is in addition to the costs of the recent project to stabilize the creek banks.