Fairfield Ledger
http://fairfield-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1115104

Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 22, 2014

Plans for Nady property shown to council

By ANDY HALLMAN | Feb 13, 2014
Source: DRAWING BY STEVE BROWER The drawing above indicates what the city of Fairfield would like to do to a 48-acre plot of land between Waterworks Park and Pleasant Lake (Reservoir No. 2). The land is known as the Nady property and was donated to the city by the Nady family of Fairfield. The land will be planted in row crops for one more year and then converted into prairie grass, wetlands, food plots and forest in the coming years.

The Fairfield City Council got a sneak peek at the most recent plans for the Nady property at its meeting Monday.

The Nady property refers to 48 acres of land north of Waterworks Park and west of Pleasant Lake that was formerly owned by the Nady family of Fairfield for more than 160 years.

Private landscape architect and conservation planner Steve Brower gave a PowerPoint presentation to the council concerning proposed uses for the land that revolve around conservation. The plan was the product of several meetings of park and recreation staff as well as other people involved in conservation such as Fairfield sustainability director Scott Timm and Jefferson County district conservationist Doug Entzminger.

Brower said the plan is to turn the Nady property from row crops into CRP ground, which will include prairie grasses, water features, additional trees and additional footpaths. Since CRP is a federal program, he said most of the money to pay for the project will come from the federal government. The city has contracted with Larry Diers to be the farm manager and to maintain the grasses and other things on the property.

The tentative plan is to leave the Nady property in cultivation for one more year, this year. Brower said prairie grass could be planted on the property as early as this fall depending on the kind of grass chosen.

Entzminger said it was difficult to plan for the project because Congress waited a long time to pass a farm bill, which included funding for CRP ground. He said there are usually slight tweaks to CRP each year so the group would have to find out what the changes are this year and prepare the funding request accordingly.

Brower said planting prairie grasses is the first part of the project, and he hopes that will be followed by the construction of water features such as wetlands.

“We don’t have wetlands in the state like we used to,” he said. “That has become a key point in conservation work.”

Brower said the water features would serve as a water source for animals and birds. A pond could also be used to irrigate the orchard planned for the south side of the property near the loop trail.

“All of the features are designed to improve the land in the long run because they are self-perpetuating,” he said.

Timm said a lot of people in town are concerned about water quality and the additional basins and ponds should help improve the water that enters Lake Bonnifield.

“Property owners will enjoy having a restored prairie, too,” he said.

Brower said the ground should be easy to maintain because it would not require regular mowing like the grass in other city parks.

“The maintenance to this ground would be on a seasonal schedule, not a weekly schedule,” he said. “This is ground you might mow once a year.”

When the Nady family donated the land to the city, the donation came with strings attached. Wulfekuhle said the city is limited in what it can build on the land. For instance, he said the city couldn’t put in an apartment building or softball fields on the property.

He said it might take 10 years or more to complete all the changes proposed for the property.

“This will be my retirement project I suppose,” he said.

 

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