Byline: Joe Mosley The Register-Guard
IT'S THE OFF-SEASON for Eugene's parks, which makes it the busy season for those in charge of maintenance and construction projects.
Parks staff and volunteers have been busy all winter, sprucing-up and improving public spaces all over town.
Take the ivy brigade, for instance.
Volunteers, inmate work crews and workers under contract with the city have cleared more than six acres of English ivy from Eugene parks in the past few months and will have removed the non-native species from a total of eight acres by the time spring has sprung.
Ivy has been removed from about three acres each at Hendricks Park and Skinner's Butte Park, and work is ongoing by Walama Restoration Co. crews in the Whilamut Natural Area of Alton Baker Park.
"We give them an area to work in, and they remove the ivy," says Richard Zucker, natural resources crew supervisor for the city's Parks and Open Space Division. "They also remove some blackberry, but they concentrate on the invasive English ivy."
English ivy - the same stuff growing on rock walls and buildings around town - is removed during the winter to minimize impacts to native plants, many of which are dormant. The ivy is also easiest to pull when soil is saturated with rain.
On the opposite end of the botanical spectrum, more than 3,000 trees and shrubs have been planted this winter along two miles of Amazon Creek in south Eugene.
The plantings are intended to re-establish native plant species along the stream corridor and provide new wildlife habitat, stabilize banks and improve water quality. Amazon Creek receives much of Eugene's storm water runoff.
As part of the Willamette River system, the creek is protected under the federal Clean Water Act. …