The purpose of the Public Space Management Program is to detail design intent and maintenance procedures for all municipally-owned land in order to provide consistency in operations and communication.  The City believes it is important that public property has balance between manicured and natural areas in order to provide a variety of landscapes within the community that offer places of beauty and refuge to residents as well as animals, birds, fish, insects and plants.

The program classifies all public land into one of five categories: Class A, B, C, D or E.  The classifications below provide a general description of the property design elements as well as recommended maintenance procedures.  This classification system is to be used as a guideline.  Each site should be considered unique and may require minor variances.  As an example, a site may be a combination design and maintenance guidelines resulting in the site to be titled an “A/B Classification”.  Further, a single property may have multiple classification zones.  One such instance may be a park site that has both manicured Class A areas as well as Class C or D open space areas with more natural elements.

All ponds require periodic MS4 inspections to assure proper flow of the storm water system.  Inspections may result in structure maintenance/reconstruction (inlets, outlets, skimmers), sediment removal, pond shaping and storm pipe cleaning.  All disturbed areas will be restored within the design intents of this program.

The Public Space Management program was adopted by City Council on April 3, 2013.

Class A

Class A areas are designed to be regularly manicured and accessible to the public.  Turf grass is the common ground cover and irrigation is recommended to assure quality growth.  Trees are regularly trimmed and monitored for health.  Debris is regularly removed and the land is always maintained as presentable for public use.  These areas are highly active and visible.

  • Seed Type: Turf 
  • Mowing: Regularly
  • Irrigation: Yes
  • Weed Control: Twice/yr
  • Fertilization: Twice/yr
  • Forest Management: Regularly
  • Forest Undergrowth: Turf – mowed regularly
  • Pond Management: Maintain 15’ natural buffer to NWL
  •  Prescribed Burns: No

Class B

Class B areas are designed to be regularly manicured and accessible to the public.  Turf grass areas are not typically irrigated and weed control occurs less frequently than in Class A.  Trees are regularly trimmed and monitored for health but undergrowth may consist of a combination of regularly and intermittently maintained areas with a goal of keeping tall grasses and weeds down.  Debris is regularly removed and the land is maintained as presentable to the public at all times.  These areas are moderately to highly active and visible.

  • Seed Type: Turf
  • Mowing: Regularly
  • Irrigation: No
  • Weed Control: Once/yr
  • Fertilization: Once/yr
  • Forest Management: Regularly
  • Forest Undergrowth: Turf – mowed as needed
  • Pond Management: Maintain 15’ natural buffer to NWL
  • Prescribed Burns: No

Class C

Class C Areas are designed with intent to be moderately manicured with a focus on native planting and design elements.  Dry areas should be planted with a native prairie mix while natural water lines should be planted with a native wetland mix.  All land should be regularly monitored and put onto a routine maintenance schedule to assure the health of native plants and uniformity of the landscape.  Mowing will only be used as necessary to the benefit of the native plants.  Forested areas should be regularly monitored but only maintained as needed to assure the health of the trees.  Native vegetation should help improve pond quality by reducing erosion and high-impact maintenance procedures.  Debris should be removed during maintenance procedures.

  • Seed Type: Native prairie/wetland
  • Mowing: Once/yr or as needed
  • Irrigation: No
  • Weed Control: Twice/yr (handspray)
  • Fertilization: No
  • Forest Management: Regularly
  • Forest Undergrowth: Native prairie/woodland
  • Pond Management: Filtration via native plantings
  • Prescribed Burns: Once every 3-5 years

Class D

Class D areas are designed using native planting and design elements.  Dry areas should be planted using a native prairie mix while natural water lines should be planted with a wetland mix.  Property will be mowed one to two times per year as a means to manage weed and woody growth.  Forested areas are typically not monitored or maintained unless safety or disease concerns exist.  Pond areas are minimally maintained with the exception of the periodic mowing prescribed above.  Debris is only removed during maintenance procedures or as volunteer groups become available.

  • Seed Type: Native prairie/wetland
  • Mowing: Once/yr or as needed
  • Irrigation: No
  • Weed Control: Via mowing
  • Prescribed Burns: No
  • Fertilization: No
    Forest Management: Only as needed
  • Forest Undergrowth: Native prairie/woodland
  • Pond Management: Mowing once/yr

Class E

Class E areas are designed to let nature determine the landscape.  All areas including upland, forested and pond areas receive little to no maintenance except in the case of public safety concerns and/or utility/stormwater concerns.  During new construction, native seed mixes should be used and management procedures may be necessary during the first two to five growing seasons.  Debris is only removed during maintenance procedures or as volunteers become available.

  • Seed Type: Native prairie/wetland
  • Mowing: No
  • Irrigation: No
  • Weed Control: No
  • Fertilization: No
  • Forest Management: Only for safety or disease
  • Forest Undergrowth: Native prairie/woodland
  • Pond Management: Only to assure proper flow
  • Prescribed Burns: No

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