In October I made my regular visit to a meadow planting at Chappapeela Park, part of the recreation department in Hammond. Last year I had been hired to create a crazy-great diverse prairie savannah there and I’ve done maintenance since. I was done, in the truck, and about to make my way out of the property, when I saw in the distance what looked like a nice stand of Little Bluestem. I pulled over and got out to see if my eyes were working right and sure enough, I found what is a high-quality pine savannah relict. Its really nice (on a meadow-biodiversity scale of 1 to 10, I’ll give it a 9.7). I spent a good bit of time there, taking it all in, like breathing fresh air. Like stepping into a time machine, going back 200 years. It was a great little grassland parcel with a lot of substance but since I was on a schedule and had to run, I made my way back to the truck to go! I’ll come back Saturday morning and photograph it, I thought.
I got up early Saturday and drove to Chapapeela, pulled in, and immediately saw that it had been mowed. No big deal, right? I had already called and left a message with the Landscape Architect I worked with on the project and I told him that we should get together and try to get it preserved, maybe incorporate it into the already-existing walking-track that loops through the park. Not a word came as a response.
Today I pulled in and saw why.
Cool! You can buy an awesome prairie savannah! and whatever the price is, it’ll be dirt-cheap.
The City of Hammond should save this before its gone. The property next door has already been dozed and graded and is ready for a nice, new concrete slab and parking lot.
I have a feeling that another one will bite the proverbial dust.
...Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Ralph Waldo Emerson