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A spring report

May 28, 2017
Kevin Williams - Grundy County Conservation Director , Reinbeck Courier

I don't have one specific topic for this week's column. I guess I'll call it a collection of updates and reports and a little frustration venting how's that?

Spring update: Strange weather has been messing with our plans. Unusually warm weather. Unusually cold weather. Wet conditions. None of that is really earth-shattering news is it? For our department it has meant some controlled prairie burns happened and some did not.

Grass mowing seemed to start way too soon (but it always seems that way). Two of our seasonal aides, Luke Holman and Jacob Moore, have begun work so that has eased that issue.

Grading of the shower/restroom building site at Wolf Creek has occurred and if weather cooperates, we will see that project finally underway!

With that strange spring weather, camping has been on again and off again. Grundy County Lake Campground was just short of no vacancies a couple weeks ago.

The end of May always brings its share of pressures as we approach the Memorial Day weekend. The list includes power-washing restrooms, mowing trail edges, cleaning grilles, grading trail surfaces, mowing grass, etc. Nick and Cole do an excellent job of things but the spring weather pressures do take their toll.

Then, of course, we had a storm last week. Could it have been worse in the parks? Oh yes but we had some trees down actually quite a lot of trees down across both the Comet and Pioneer Trails. In fact, we had part of the Secondary Roads Complex storage building roof on the Pioneer Trail!

The Comet Trail near Beaman and outside of Conrad saw most of the tree damage. Our crew finished up removal of that debris on Monday of this week.

And finally, the end of the fiscal year is June 30. I generally delay things like additional road stone on park drives and new equipment purchases until then just in case an unexpected expenditure occurs earlier in the year. That means scrambling with some things sometimes. Such is the case this year. The annual Gemini Run is Saturday, May 27. The contractor could get in to replace two bridge decks on the Comet Trail and I pulled the trigger. Then we have rainy weather and the storm.

Suddenly the two bridges on the Gemini Run route which should have had the concrete poured last week did not. As I write this (Monday morning) one bridge is being poured this morning before the rain. Keeping my fingers crossed that between rain events there is enough drying to allow access on the trail to pour number two!



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