Progress in the Parks
The Blooming Season
This time of year, the Neosho Parks Department focuses on mowing grass and planting flower beds around town. Our parks are full of flower beds and maintaining them takes much effort. Last year about this time we planted a flower bed on the north end of Big Spring Park to native Missouri wildflowers. These are flowers that grow here wild and have developed to grow in our prairies and woodlands along with the native tall grass like big bluestem, Indian grass, little bluestem, eastern gamma grass and sideoats gramma just to name a few. These grasses grew very tall, up to 6-7 feet, so anything that is to compete with these tall grasses also must be tall.
The flowers we chose to plant in this flower bed are perennials, meaning they will come back each year and should not need to be replanted. These plants are hearty, they can survive the weather extremes we experience here in Southwest Missouri. This past February when we hit 18 degrees below zero you might wonder how anything could survive that, but the natives did. Other plants that are not native here did not fair so well. Crepe Myrtle in one such plant that normally grows south of here and most that I have seen in our area have been nipped back to the ground.
Native flowers include Missouri Blazing Star, Purple Coneflower, Butterfly Milkweed, Tickseed Coreopsis, Black Eyed Susan, and Ox Eye Daisy to name a few.
These native flowers are very important to the pollinators that rely on their flower nectar for survival and in return pollinate the flowers for them to produce seed. These pollinators can be any type of animal that use these flowers and move the pollen from the male parts of the flower to the female parts to complete the pollination process. Many insects pollinate in their normal routine of survival. Other animals the do this service for the flowers would include hummingbirds, and other birds, bats, lizards, and small mammals.
As you travel around our parks, take a moment to enjoy the color and beauty that our flower beds provide. Volunteer groups like the Neosho FFA Chapter and NewCaps Students, both groups from Neosho High School and the Friends Of The Park who have helped with flower bed planting.
Neosho Parks are special!
Neosho Parks Director