The city's plans to restore the prairie at Whetstone Park received some more attention at last week's meeting of the Clintonville Area Commission.
Tina Mohn, natural resources and property manager with the city's parks department, stopped by Nov. 1 to discuss the project, earning praise from CAC District 4 representative Judy Minister, who described her as "the most helpful person in the world."
Minister said several people approached her in recent months regarding what they felt was neglect of the 4.5 acres of prairie near the Olentangy Trail, directly south of Adena Brook. When she turned to Mohn, Minister said, things began to happen, including the development of a five-year plan that calls for letting one of the prairie's acres revert to woods while focusing attention on the remaining section.
"We've been managing it loosely ... with some help from private partners," Mohn said, noting that the prairie was established in 2003.
Mohn has said the Whetstone prairie is the only urban one in the city's parks.
The prairie has become overgrown and the city has acted like an absentee landlord, Mohn said.
"We need to do some work," she said.
Invasive species and some trees have been removed. The goal, Mohn said, is eventually to bring back all the plants that were put in the ground in 2003, supplemented with "relic seeds" from some of the prairie sections of Metro Parks and on private land.
Volunteers will be needed in the spring for the planting, Mohn said.
"We're going to reach out to you guys and ask for your help and have you hold us accountable for the five-year plan," she added.
"So the absentee landlord has returned," said District 1 representative David Vottero.
The white stuff
Michael T. Liggett, a community-relations coordinator for Columbus, also spoke during the Nov. 1 meeting, saying the city already is starting to think about snow.
"It's just right around the corner, unfortunately," he said.
He detailed how city plows are used during a "snow incident," with first priority given to major arterials such as state Route 315 and North High Street. Attention next is paid to collector streets that lead from residential areas to those arterials. Finally, and only if another snowfall doesn't revert the situation back to the beginning, residential streets are plowed, Liggett said.
He noted the city has 2,200 lane-miles of residential streets, which in a straight line would stretch past Los Angeles.
Libby Wetherholt, CAC chairwoman, said she has been gratified by the number of people who have indicated a willingness to serve on a task force that, over the next three years, will seek to earn Clintonville Neighborhood GreenSpot status.
Currently, she said, 1,600 households and 58 businesses in Clintonville are GreenSpots, and part of the task force's duties will be to try to add 10 percent of private residences and perhaps 5 percent of businesses, schools and nonprofits to that number.
Once the GreenSpot coordinator signs off on the application, the task force's goals could include increasing home-energy audits, improving awareness of the Clintonville bikeway, conserving and protecting water, promoting LED holiday lighting, and perhaps installing solar panels at the Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center, Wetherholt said.
District 5 representative Dana Bagwell made a motion to send in the GreenSpot application, for which District 2's Khara Nemitz provided a second. Chris Allwein of District 8, however, objected because he felt a "narrative" should be included.
Bagwell and Nemitz stuck by their guns and the vote in favor of sending the application was seven in favor and none against, with Allwein and Randy Ketcham of District 6 abstaining.
Wetherholt said those should be "no" votes instead of abstentions.
"I just don't want to vote on it," Ketcham replied.