Coleman Highlands Spring Project Awarded a Missouri Department of Conservation Grant

Parks Department personnel inspect the spring area in 2012.Parks Department personnel inspect the spring area in 2012.Have you seen the Coleman Highlands Spring? Before park cleanup efforts were begun in 2010 you would have had to crouch and duck under tangles of shrub honeysuckle and wild grape vines to discover the source of water coming down the hill north of Karnes, south of the Coleman Highlands neighborhood. Park cleanup efforts and the construction of the Bindle Byway Trail have made it much more accessible. Today arguably the park's most peaceful park bench sits just off the trail, within view of the spring source.

But the potential for an even higher quality park amenity was still unrealized. Despite lots of shrub honeysuckle plants having been removed, a great many remained. And by and large the ground was covered with a carpet of non-native invasive wintercreeper.

Discussions between the Parks department, Missouri Department of Conservation, and Roanoke Park volunteers began in 2012 to imagine realizing the potential of the area by replacing the non-native plants with natives and making the spring and the pool at the bottom of the hill more accessible.

Our champion persimmon tree. Biggest in the metro area.Our champion persimmon tree. Biggest in the metro area.Another unique element in the area was discovered as part of the 2012 Tree Inventory. What has been verified by Powell Gardens as the largest native Persimmon tree in the metro area sits right next to the little watercourse of spring water.

Discussions continued but the plans remained rather ill defined until...


The Coleman Highlands Spring area plan. Click for a blowup and more information.The Coleman Highlands Spring area plan. Click for a blowup and more information.During the winter of 2013-2014 the Roanoke Park Conservancy put together a proposal and applied for an Urban Conservation Grant from the Missouri Department of Conservation. As announced at or party at Prospero's Uptown Books in March, We won the grant! As a result, $3,500 from MDC will be combined with $1,500 of your donations, a couple hundred volunteer hours, and contributions from the Parks Department and ERTA to make the spring easier to visit, and more valuable to wildlife.

Clearing the area of shrub honeysuckle has mostly been completed. Next up is killing the carpet of non-native wintercreeper. The city is currently undertaking repairs to the sewer line running underneath part of the area at the bottom of the hill - to make sure we don't have a hole in the bottom of the bucket. Then the parks department will help us constuct a berm to concentrate and relocate the wetland pool at the bottom of the hill. All of this activity is to prep the area for a springtime planting event where over 770 native plant plugs will be installed. (You're invited.)

We hope to make it even better, but at a minimum the Colemand Highlands Spring project will include:

  • Eradication of non-native invasive plants from the area surrounding the spring.
  • Construction of a more defined wetland pool.
  • Planting at least 770 native plant plugs and seeding the area with native seed.
  • A new trail connection exploring the back of the wetland pool.
  • Interpretive signage to educate visitors on the project and acknowledge project partners.
  • Your involvement, education and enjoyment!

See the Spring Proposal Handout for more info and check back for more details.