Updated with corrections on March 16. The RoundTable regrets the errors.
My wife and I live in Evanston, and our house borders directly onto Lovelace Park. The park has always been seen by us as a haven from the trials and tribulations of everyday life. Recently, we have added our names to the list of those who would like to preserve the meadow area of the park (the area west of the pond and north of the sledding hill) a haven for birds, insects, other wildlife, and even us humans to enjoy in a more natural state.
Last year there was a coordinated effort initiated by Friends of Lovelace Park not to mow the grass in just north of the sledding hill. This area often retains water for a long time. The proposal was also to introduce wildflower plants native to the region that were donated for the purpose. This was intended to support Evanston’s CARP plan (City Climate Action and Resiliency Plan). We believe that this effort should continue moving forward.
The benefits of letting grass remain ‘unmowed’ for longer periods of time in this area are many, including a lower carbon footprint for city operations, lower maintenance costs for the park service, a shelter for the local wildlife, and a natural setting for the public to explore and enjoy.
We’ve talked to our neighbors, and they all thought this was a wonderful idea. Last year we saw mallard ducks, Canadian geese, hawks and even some herons exploring this ‘less- manicured environment.’ We have also seen families explore the meadowland area, and thought ‘what a wonderful opportunity to share in the joys of nature.’
I am including some photos of the park, one taken just recently when we had the bad snow storm. The area of the meadow is blanketed in snow. It looks so serene and beautiful. Another was taken in the fall. You can see the golden grass of the meadow in the midground which would be even more beautiful with some native wildflowers. The last was taken just yesterday showing the ducks enjoying the wetlands created by the winter snow melt.
There are very few areas in this region of Evanston that can provide this kind of experience to the public. Also, as we are all faced with increased costs due to the impact of the Covid-19 virus, the reduction in lawn maintenance will free up some much needed cash in the city’s coffers to focus on other pressing expenses.
Please contact your aldermen and Mayor Hagerty – https://www.cityofevanston.org/government/city-council and request that the City leave the meadow north of the sledding hill in a natural unmowed state, and allow for native seeds to be spread around to further enhance the area.
I am sending this letter in hopes that you feel the same way about Lovelace Park meadow, and will help us to make the case to continue with this effort to beautify it. Contact Friends of Lovelace Park at www.LovelacePark.com to remain informed about future activities in the park, including the expansion of our pollinator garden.
Please do this today so that future generations can reap the benefit of our efforts to make Lovelace Park even better.
— Alan Turovitz