Sustainable Maintenance Practices in Richfield Parks
Richfield Public Works has long practiced sustainable behaviors, as staff recognize the environmental, financial, and social benefits of these efforts and are always looking towards the next step.
Minimal Maintenance Areas
There are select areas in almost all of the city's parks that are not regularly mowed. Instead, they have been left alone and native grasses, wildflowers, and other seeds have been spread. Their growth fosters a more natural habitat for plants, insects, and animals to live, eat, and breed. This environment also contributes to soil health, erosion control, and reduced emissions from mowing. Learn more about the benefits here.
Reduced or Eliminated Spraying
Chemical use in Richfield parks has been gradually reduced over the past 10 years. Our Park Maintenance department focuses on establishing better turf, therefore requiring less use of chemicals for maintenance purposes. While there could be a need to spray in parks in the future for plant management purposes, staff proactively spend time and effort building healthy landscapes to naturally manage unwanted plants.
The only area in a Richfield park that is sprayed for regular maintenance is around the Honoring All Veterans Memorial, which is not maintained by Public Works.
Pollinator Gardens and Landscaping
The parks and streetscape projects in Richfield have boasted recent efforts to plant and care for increased greenery, including bee friendly medians, designated pollinator garden areas at Roosevelt and Monroe Park, and newly planted flower beds around several park signs, which is an ongoing initiative.
Irrigation and Infiltration Systems at Veterans Park and Taft Park
Stormwater runoff will be used to irrigate park land. This will enhance the quality of the park, reduce downstream runoff volumes, reduce pollutant loadings, and reduce the amount of City water that is used for irrigation purposes. With an anticipated application rate of one to three inches per week over a 24-week irrigation period in the summer, the annual runoff volume from the watershed can be reduced by 14 to 40 acre-feet. The total phosphorus loading could be reduced 17 to 50 pounds annually.
As part of the restoration of the disturbed areas, a native prairie area and wildflower buffer strip will be planted around Legion Lake. This is primarily for habitat enhancement but also serves an aesthetic purpose.