19 April 2014

Omaha Parks Ignores Nebraska Weed Law

Officials of the Omaha Parks Recreation and Public Works department continue to ignore the growth and spreading of phragmites at Levi Carter Park. There are three primary growths in the park along the shore of Carter Lake. The worst growth is on the west side of the lake, and has been there for at least several years. The other two are of lesser size, and those on the east side seem to be a more recent occurrence.

There has been no known effort to eradicate these noxious weeds as required by a state of Nebraska law.

"Pursuant to the Noxious Weed Control Act, section 2-955, subsection 1(a), to every person who owns or controls land in Nebraska, that noxious weeds being grown, or growing on, such land shall be controlled at such frequency as to prevent establishment, provide eradication, or reduce further propagation or dissemination of such weeds."

In the autumn of 2012, this was discussed with a parks worker responsible for this, and although there seemed to be an indication something would be done, nothing was since the phragmites continue to thrive. During the past couple of years, it was also learned that these plants are the invasive species, not the native type.

A picture of each clump taken on April 18th, 2014.
There are additional places with a scattered growth of this species.

On the east side of Carter Lake, northeast of Bird Isle.

On the north side of Carter Lake, east of the buildings. Note the Western Osprey atop the tree snag.

On the north side of Carter Lake, along the drive.

Any effort to remove the phragmites should include consultation with a licensed spray applicator (to safeguard the lake waters) and a review of potential nesting activity since the nesting season is well underway at the Levi Carter Park environs.

The list of Nebraska noxious weeds is provided on a Nebraska Weed Association website, along with pictures.