Hands on Experience: City Jobs, Aquatic Planting

Tell everybody where we are.
We are at Fletcher Park. It used to be known as Bonnie Park, kind of
near all the baseball fields and soccer fields. Okay and what’s the name of this lake?
We call it Bonnie Pond. It just
works naturally it flows into Lake Bonnie. It takes a stormwater runoff from
the park.
What are we (me, I) going to be doing today?
So today you’re gonna help us plant some native aquatic plants. This
project started when we were contacted by Parks and Recreation about having
some maintenance issues with our pond, a lot of invasive plants growing out here
kind of taking over. They didn’t have a way of treating it so in coordination
with them we are helping them maintain their pond for invasives
and at the same time where it’s benefiting us is we’re able to use it as a mitigation
site for all of our stabilization projects. What that means is basically
will take donor plants from ditches or other areas that like for instance these
came from areas that we need to maintenance around outfalls that are
going to be dug out anyways so they’re good beneficial plants that we can reuse.
So what we do is plant them in here, let them propagate and spread and then
hopefully next season for our next projects next year we’ll come back in
and harvest a few out of every area and let them fill back in. Long story short is
it’s just a big aquatic nursery where we’re able to grow our own plants, not
have to purchase them.
So it’s Lakes and Stormwater being thrifty.
Yeah saving money yeah.
So I am going to get a little messy on this one,
I think! Yes you are.
…or something, which is good, I’ve been
asking for that ! So tell me what I’m doing and let’s go do it.
So we’re planting mostly Picker Weed right now it’s got a nice emergent
flower. It’s a purple flower when it’s blooming. So what we’re gonna do, these
are all bare root plants. There’s no soil with them. They’re just the actual bulb
of the plant. So we’ll take the shovel, it’s very simple…you just put it in the
mud and push it down with your foot like you normally would to take a scoop out,
but we’re not gonna actually remove it. We’re just gonna push this shovel
forward and plant it behind the shovel. Okay.
And then you pull your shovel out
and then you can just kind of step around it with your foot and move on to the next one.
Well let’s do it. Let’s see! I think we got plenty of shovels. Got the guys already working on it.
My buddy over there. Hey!
How are you? Good! So it’s really, it’s not as
deep as I thought it was gonna be. There are holes, I will warn you.
They’re unknown. It’s kind of squishy when you first start to get in. And a bit ago we saw an alligator
so you’re gonna keep an eye out for that yes?
She’s good. She’s our friend. Okay let me get you some plants. Here’s your shovel. So what we do is try to get
it down to just the bulb. You can see the roots coming out of it.
So you can plant these at any depth.
Here, you do one. Let me kind of see.
So what I’ll do is I’ll take
this one and kind of clean them up…clean them up a little bit…and then I’ll just
kind of hold it hold it right here I have my shovel sticking straight down
in the mud, push it all the way down to its top, okay, and then just kind of
wiggle it back and forth to move that sediment around and then I’ll just
follow the back of this shove all the way down until I feel it go down in that
hole. You pull your shovel out and just kind of hold it there and then I just step
around it like you would a plant. There it is! It’s done.
It’s done!
Okay now it’s my turn. You did that too fast! Do you try to do a
certain distance apart?
Nope. We just plug them in. They’re pretty resilient though. As long
as they’re in the water, they’ll grow. Okay so shovel in… All the way down.
And then kind of move it?
Yep kind of wiggle it around.
I think I’m kind of close to that other one.
And then push it all the way forward and feel it kind of go down in there?
And then hold your plant down and pull your shovel out and then just step around it, pack it in.
I’m getting my feet stuck!
Is that what it’s supposed to do? That’s not right!
That’s not right Cody! Okay take two. Thank you. Okay quit being a girl.
We got this. Okay I think that feels better. It doesn’t! These are kind of taller so they don’t stand up as well. Is it in? Its…It’s challenging! You guys are laughing at me and that’s fine. Sure. I’m laughing on the inside. It’s harder than it looks because your
feet get like, yeah, sucked up in there so it’s hard to….Oh this is a good plan you
hold it. Looks like you’re getting the hang of it now.
It feels better.
Sometimes I’ll just take it and just kind of like stand around it with my feet and I squish it.
It doesn’t… that’s not right is it Cody?
I think maybe we’re not getting deep enough. Cause look at those. Mine doesn’t look like!
Let’s see your shovel.
But it’s only my third time so…
That’s right. Maybe it’s too soft. Try to stick them up this way.
Okay mine aren’t the only droopy ones over there. Huh?
Yeah After I get my foot unstuck. Look at that,
you’re just showing off now! I think it’s just really soft right there.
Okay that’s what we’re gonna go with. It was bad dirt.
Bad dirt. Oh yeah. You pushing it?
Oh there there, there it went! I think you got it that time.
I felt it go deeper that time.
If this one doesn’t stand up I’m gonna be mad! Ta-da yes! Success! I don’t think people appreciate you guys enough because this is hard work
It’s not too bad. We actually enjoy this process more than other things.
And it’s hot.
I’m not trying to be like a big baby I’m just saying That’s your gator friend watching.
Where is he? Oh there is. Hey stay right there.
The smaller ones are a little bit easier.
Oh that was so much better! Awesome. Well done.
Oh good Lord. Okay I am gonna take help.
You’re a natural.
Huh that’s no joke! That’s right
up there with, I helped pour concrete a couple weeks ago making a sidewalk.
That’s right up here with that. And this isn’t the end of their day. They’ll finish this up and go do something else.
Yep, yep. We’ve got a lot planned for today and there’s always something. On to the next.
I’ll never stopped saying it. We don’t appreciate all that goes on behind the
scenes until you actually get in and do it. You just see things and just..Oh! a
sidewalk appeared! Oh plants! No. Someone had to do it.
Yeah it’s really neat that we’re able to share with the public and just show them what we’re
doing and a lot of people don’t know the benefits of good native plants just for
stabilization and nutrient uptake and it’s nice that we are using our
resources to be able to benefit the city and our Lakes.
And our lakes! In our Lakeland.
That’s right you gotta take care of them.
It is always always always so great to come out here and work with
you guys. I appreciate you putting up with my…with my girliness and I try to do my best.
No, we take all the help we can get.
I look forward to the next project with you guys, so thank you, Cody.

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