Grassroots effort to improve Roanoke Park - KCTV5 News

Grassroots effort to improve Roanoke Park

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A grassroots effort to restore a historic Kansas City park is getting a big boost with a grant from the Missouri Department of Conservation.

"We are doing a tree inventory," said Geographic Information System mapmaker Molly Gosnell, who is taking inventory of 2,000 trees at Roanoke Park.

However, it is no easy task.

"We are inputting the tree species, size, diameter and condition and any necessary maintenance," Gosnell said.

Over time, invasive plants have taken over this park.

Park volunteer Chris DeLong said the plants end up, over time, reducing the number of seedlings of native trees that can grow.

"They just shade everything out," DeLong said.  "Plus, I think it makes people feel a little unsafe. I think that was part of the effort to open up the sight lines."

The data will also be entered into an online application.

"A smart phone app. It knows where you are. You see a little dot for the tree. You click on the dot and it tells you what kind of tree it is. It is kind of a cool interactive tree walk as you go through the park," DeLong said. 

Gosnell said it gives both the city and the nonprofit, Roanoke Park Conservancy, a snapshot in time of the diversity of trees.

Once the count is complete, the nonprofit will analyze the data to plan future improvements to the park.

"It makes a home for nature where we live," DeLong said. "There are birds and animals that need to live right here."

Since city resources for the park have been sparse, volunteers are trying to raise money for the inventory to add to the $8,932 grant.

To help out by donating, click here.

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