Invasive Amur Honeysuckle: Not a Good Neighbor

It’s sneaky, it’s pretty, it has berries the birds love, and it’s the invasive plant problem you never heard of. Amur Honeysuckle (botanical name Lonicera maackii), a non-native bush from eastern Asia, is a very aggressive plant that sprouts abundantly, out-competes many plants, and tends to take over if not controlled. In March, it leafs out earlier and grows rap-idly to get a head start on other bushes. It has a white bloom by early May, and by August is setting berries. The berries are red, stay on the bush all winter, and birds spread the seeds.

Eight states have outlawed it. The Kansas Department of Health & Environment recommends that cities erad-icate it, but Lawrence Parks & Recreation doesn’t have the budget to control it. Amur Honeysuckle is taking over Brook Creek Neighborhood and many areas of Lawrence. It’s all over the Brook Creek Woods, all along the Burroughs Creek Trail, along the Kansas River, in many City drainageways, and is even a major problem at the Prairie Park Nature Center. You very likely have it in your fence line.

The Brook Creek Neighborhood Association is launch-ing an effort to eradicate Amur Honeysuckle in our neighborhood. Any occurrence of it poses a problem for your neighbors, so please identify it and remove it if you have it.

To learn more about it visit http://www.invasive.org/browse/subinfo.cfm?sub=3040, & http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/pubs/midatlantic/loma.htm

Red berries in the Fall

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BCNA Welcomes Struct/Restruct to the Neighborhood

Eric Jay of Struct/Restruct provided the following information about the business and their new location at 1146 Haskell Avenue.

“Struct/Restruct (SRS) is a full-service design-build studio rooted in the heart of East Lawrence. Lifelong friends, Matt Jones and Eric Jay own and operate the busi-ness at 1146 Haskell, the previous location of the Recycling Center. They currently have 9 full-time employees and one resident watchdog. Over the past 6 years they have been designing and building throughout Lawrence, with their main focus in East Lawrence. Each project implements in-novative design, custom woodworking and reclaimed ma-terials. Their previous shop was located at 920 & 924 Dela-ware, current home of Decade Coffee and The Lawrence Re-Cyclery. SRS spent four years at that location and was quickly outgrowing the facility. When 1146 became availa-ble last spring, SRS met with the previous owner and im-mediately saw its potential.

Currently, SRS has office, storage and woodworking space set up in the building with high hopes for it all. We’re in the process of updating the building with a fresh coat of paint, an accessible bathroom, and fire rating portions of the space. With an approved site plan in place we can also begin working on site improvements like removing the green fence, sidewalk, curb & gutter and doing landscap-ing improvements. The first course of action is to remove the green fence along 12th St. Portions of the fence will be re-purposed for the buffer yard fence between our indus-trial space and the residential lots to the east. As part of the redevelopment of the property, nine residential lots were created along 12th Street. Once the infrastructure is de-signed and installed, we can start selling the lots for resi-dential development. It took a year to get where we’re at now, and the process from here on out will be lengthy as well. When it’s all finished, we feel it will be a great asset to the neighborhood.

Other major things that will happen as part of the site plan are demolishing the two small out-buildings to the north of the shop and the addition of a sawmill in the shop yard. SRS has a stockpile of harvested logs from around town which will be milled into boards and used in its projects. We also hope to make local hardwoods more accessible to people in town by having milled and surfaced lumber available for sale on site.

When the crew isn’t around the shop, you can find them at their many current projects going on in the Eastside. If you really want to see what we’re up to, you should stop by the shop and get a first hand glimpse.”

City Offers Free Repairs to Help Manage Stormwater

The Lawrence Waste Water Treatment Plant on the Kan-sas River has an average daily capacity of 12.5 million gal-lons. But when there’s a heavy rainfall, water enters the sanitary sewers in many places, increasing the flow into the treatment plant to a point of overload. This causes problems of extra pumping energy and extra chemicals that cost taxpayers more, and also possible overflow of untreated sewage into the Kansas River. The City has two options – either build a very expensive larger treatment plant and larger sewers or reduce the rainwater infiltration into the pipes. They have chosen to reduce the infiltration.

Lawrence has already sealed the inside of many sewer pipes, which did help the problem. The next phase is the eight year “Eco-flow Rapid Rainwater Reduction Pro-gram.” The City wants to locate where rainwater from downspouts, sump pumps, floor drains, exterior drains, damaged sewer cleanouts, and other similar places may be infiltrating the sanitary sewers. They are starting with an area which includes the Brook Creek Neighborhood. They will be evaluating many properties, both residential and commercial. It’s a voluntary program, and they hope folks will be willing to participate.

A hired contractor, Trekk Design Group, will be contacting selected properties to set up an appointment for an evalua-tion. If any incorrect discharges are found, the City will pay for any repairs, including both materials and labor. Landlords must give tenants a three-day notice of an in-side evaluation, and tenants may make the appointment themselves. Property owners have the option to select a plumber to do the repairs from a list provided by the City. For more information, call the City at 832-7800 or visit – http://www.lawrenceks.org/utilities/ecoflow