A Tree Grows in Lafayette Park

photo credit - Eric Frazier

photo credit – Eric Frazier

Thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Missouri Department of Conservation, we were able to commission a new Lafayette Tree Master Plan for Lafayette Park. We all know that the park is the crown jewel of our neighborhood but it’s easy to forget that the trees need some love too, and that we should be thoughtful about how we plant seeds for the next generation of magnolias and redwoods underneath which our children will play.

SWT Design, a leading local landscape design firm, prepared the plan for us. (All related documents can be found here.) The LSRC and LPC will coordinate the work called for within this plan with the City. Any memorial trees will be selected by type and location from this master plan rather than putting the wrong tree in the wrong space. SWT suggested both native and non-native species for good variety, as well as some flowering trees or shrubs at each park entrance for added visual interest.

We aim to begin the new planting activity with a focus on the northwest quadrant of the park. We know there are numerous areas within the park that do need attention, but this particular quadrant seems to be at the top of the list. Skip Kincaid, Commissioner of Forestry at the City, has walked the area and will be ordering 20 native trees that were specified in the Tree Master Plan. These trees will be planted within the next month. The beds on both sides of the walkway on Park Avenue and Missouri Avenue will be altered or removed to make room for the trees. The forsythia and bulb plants will remain but the evergreens on the Park Avenue side that are misshapen will be replaced with Dawn Redwood. Some Witch Hazel will also be planted along the pathways.

We’re hoping to engage resident volunteers to help us give these new plantings some attention in the early months…by hand-pulling weeds (weed whackers are not kind to baby trees) and watering during dry spells.

We are thrilled to be embarking on a new journey for our beloved park. Although it will take many years to achieve the complete vision, everything begins with first steps!