Plans to remove and replace fencing and trees along Onondaga Creek at Kirk Park call for public input

The City of Syracuse Department of Parks, Recreation & Youth Programs (Syracuse Parks & Rec) will host virtual public information sessions for neighbors to offer input on the Habitat and Greenway Enhancement Project, coordinated in partnership with Onondaga Earth Corps (OEC).

On Monday, Mar. 1 at 6 p.m. during the Southside TNT meeting, City Arborist Steve Harris and OEC representatives will discuss plans for the project which include removing the old fence and dead, invasive trees on the Kirk Park side of the creek. These actions are intended to beautify Kirk Park, in addition to improving its plant and bird diversity.

Fence removal from Colvin Street to the South Avenue bridge is scheduled to begin the second week of March. From Mar. 15 to Apr. 1, a contractor will remove an estimated 300 dead trees inside of the fence and install a new 4-foot fence to match the fence along the new Creekwalk. In May, OEC will deploy crews to plant over 500 native trees and shrubs to replace what was removed.

OEC will also host two virtual public meetings on Thursday, Mar. 18 with Syracuse Parks & Rec and Applied Ecological, the ecological design consultant for the project. At these meetings, the team will present the entire scope of the project and design concepts. Residents interested in joining each meeting can register online for the 12 p.m. session or the 6:30 p.m. session to receive an email with information about how to participate.

Funded through the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Program (NRDAR), this project will establish an ecologically diverse plant community along the 1.3-mile stretch of the new Creekwalk from the Kirk Park footbridge to Temple Avenue. It will beautify the corridor and improve recreational opportunities while ensuring public safety for users.

Over the next four years, OEC will take the lead on this transformation including the planting and maintenance of over 3,000 trees and shrubs. NRDAR funding is managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation aimed at supporting conservation projects that address the historic negative impacts to Onondaga Lake and its tributaries.

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