The pond at the Anna City Park in Anna.

Soil, water conservation district proposes educational nature trail at Anna City Park

Plans have been presented to develop an educational nature trail at the Anna City Park in Anna.

The proposed project was presented at a regular meeting of the Anna City Council which was held Tuesday evening, Feb. 5. The meeting was at Anna City Hall.

The Union County Soil and Water Conservation District would like to design and fund the educational nature trail, which would be built around the pond at the city park.

Information about the proposed project was shared at the council meeting by Union County Soil and Water Conservation District representative John Wingate.

The trail would incorporate educational signage around the pond. The signs would show the different kinds of plants and animals that call pond ecosystems home. The signs would be custom-made for the park.

“We would also like to plant pollinator habitat in two of the grass fields around the pond and place educational signage about pollinators and their importance next to the plantings,” Wingate shared with city officials.

The soil and water conservation district also would like to stock the pond for fishing.

Wingate explained that the soil and water conservation district would pay for the cost of the materials, for the stocking of fish and for the planting of pollinator habitat.

The city would be asked to install the signs around the trail “so they can be placed and secured in the best possible locations.”

“Maintenance would be minimal, with the signs requiring no maintenance and the pollinator habitat needing to be mowed only once a year in the late fall,” Wingate stated. 

“We feel this would be a nice addition to the park and would attract visitors and increase the usage of the park’s pond,” he added.

Wingate said it is hoped that work on the project can begin by this spring or summer.

Several members of the city council voiced their approval for development of the project. 

Mayor Steve Hartline asked that documents for the project be drafted and presented to the city. 

“Go ahead and proceed with it,” the mayor said.

In other business at last week’s city council meeting:

City administrator Steve Guined reported that plans are moving forward on a major street resurfacing project which is planned in Anna and Jonesboro.

The project will involve resurfacing work which will begin at the four-way stop in downtown Anna and continue to the square in neighboring Jonesboro.

The Illinois Department of Transportation project is expected to cost a little over $1 million.

The council also discussed the possibility of establishing a municipal court system for the handling of minor traffic violations.

The proposal was presented to city officials by Anna Police Chief Mike Hunter.

Hunter voiced concerns about how the amount of fees which are paid for such violations go to the county. 

The police chief noted that arrestable traffic offenses, such as a driver with a suspended license, would remain as state violations.

Mayor Hartline asked that council members continue to think about the police chief’s proposal.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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