Lime Kiln Park updates nearly complete

Kiln restoration, new path part of improvements

Sept. 5, 2012

Menomonee Falls - Improvements at Lime Kiln Park are almost complete though residents should be aware that the newly paved path running through the park is not yet open for recreation, said Director of Public Works Arlyn Johnson in an update to the Menomonee Falls Village Board last week.

Lime Kiln Park, located at Main Street and Appleton Avenue, closed in April for repairs. Six years ago the village, along with a concerned group of citizens, became dedicated to protecting and enhancing the natural features of the park This included reconstructing the kilns and tackling invasive species that have made their way into the park over the years.

Path needs grading

The paving project, which cost $75,000, is almost complete as the contractor needs to fix the grading on the sides of the path to make it an even route.

"The path is still technically closed because the drop offs on the sides have not yet been restored by the contractor and there is a tripping hazard," and bikers can get their wheels caught in the drop off where the path meets the grass, said Johnson.

The finishing touches to the path will be completed soon.

The kilns have been restored; however, the village is still looking at new fencing material to add to the aesthetics of that area. Signage also has to be updated throughout the park.

"It is a very beautiful, restored area and it helps to have people like you (Johnson) helping us out," said Trustee Michael McDonald.

In addition to enhancing the look and feel of Lime Kiln, the village also created a plan in 2006 for tackling invasive species, while restoring native species to the park. The village contracted with Cedarburg Science to tackle invasive species. In 2006, Johnson said a considerable amount of garlic mustard was removed from the park, as well as buckthorn and honeysuckle.

"This is an ongoing removal effort consisting of pulling plants where appropriate and spraying them with herbicide," Johnson said.

New invasive species

In the spring of 2010, a new invasive species was discovered called Amur Corktree, which is native to eastern Asia, and there are two known populations in Wisconsin. The second population was found in Adams County. The corktree was removed as part of the annual invasive species eradication effort. Johnson said they were awarded a grant to do a survey of village parks to gauge population numbers of the corktree, which was also found in the Old Falls Village. They were removed in Old Falls last year along with buckthorn; there are currently no new individual trees.

"There was also a small population found in Village Park and we'll be addressing that as well this year," Johnson said.

Routine maintenance will now continue indefinitely.

"We're very pleased with the results and hope to continue (maintenance) into the future," Johnson said.

This summer a number of projects were initiated by community groups to further enhance the park's features. The Friends of Lime Kiln Park Natural Area recently planted native species.

"The Friends of Lime Kiln have been working diligently in trying to keep these plants watered," Johnson said. "It's a considerable effort that we're grateful for."

Local Eagle Scout Alex Wing also coordinated a two-day effort this summer where Wing and fellow volunteers planted 274 various native plants donated by Johnson's Nursery.

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