The one-acre park has enough space to accommodate everything once intended for the Gordon Street site. Plans still include sewing sections of the park in native prairie grass and wild flowers.

Plans of converting flood buyout property adjacent to Gordon Street into a park rich in native plants have taken a detour. Andy Dorian, director of the Hannibal Parks & Recreation Department, announced the change during the recent Park Board meeting.

The switch in plans occurred after some preliminary work at the Gordon Street site. Dorian reported that every time crews worked to dig a hole, they encountered an assortment of items such as old timbers, pipes, shingles and bits of building foundations.

Consideration was briefly given to hauling in dirt to the planned park area. However, an $80,000 price tag to cover the site with an additional one foot of earth made officials reconsider.

“It’s just not worth it,” said Dorian.

Rather than ditch the project completely, it has instead been detoured across the street to Dulany Park, which is located south of Warren Barrett Drive in an area bordered by Lemon, Ledford and Munger streets, plus Colfax Avenue. The one-acre park has enough space to accommodate everything once intended for the Gordon Street site. Plans still include sewing sections of the park in native prairie grass and wild flowers.

Some fruit trees already grow in the northeast corner of the park. It was suggested that some additional fruit trees could be planted there. Informational signs will still be erected to identify the types of plants in the various plots. The park will also have a walking path consisting of crushed rock.

Although the discovery of junk buried beneath the Gordon Street property forced Dorian to call an “audible,” he is confident the public will respond positively to changes in Dulany Park.

“In the end it will be a better deal,” he said.

One of the appealing points of the Gordon Street property was that although it is flood buyout property, it is an area that is not as prone to flooding as some other park properties. That fact had even prompted some discussion in January of relocating the Dempsey Dog Park to the Gordon Street area from its current site near Bear Creek, off of Ely Street.

“It (Ely Street) is a nice area, but it sits in a low area that floods first. Gordon Street is higher,” said Dorian early this year.

Elevation was not the Gordon Street site’s only positive feature. Unlike most other recreation areas, where the creation of parking lots must be taken into consideration, that was not the case on Gordon Street where a now-closed section of Lemon Street could have potentially been utilized as a parking lot.

As for the Gordon Street property’s immediate future, Dorian indicated that plans are now to simply keep it mowed.

 

Reach reporter Danny Henley at danny.henley@courierpost.com.