Local News Spotlight

Native grasses planted around Truman Sports Complex

Updated: 2013-04-30T00:44:11Z

By MIKE HENDRICKS

The Kansas City Star

The Royals’ grounds crew fusses over the grass inside Kauffman Stadium, sometimes mowing twice within 24 hours, as it did prior to and between games of Sunday’s day-night doubleheader. The Chiefs also are quite particular about the turf at Arrowhead Stadium.

But as for the scraggly grass surrounding the Truman Sports Complex, meh, not so much. And now its mowing days are just about over.

On Monday, workers began replacing those 35 acres of sod and weeds with a more environmentally friendly mix of wildflowers and native prairie grasses.

Out with the crabgrass and fescue, in with little bluestem, big bluestem and Indian grass.

“About the only area where we won’t be doing it is right behind the (Kauffman) stadium, where they shoot off the fireworks,” said Jim Rowland, executive director of the Jackson County Sports Complex Authority, which operates the stadiums. Prairie grasses tend to grow tall and could catch fire when they dry out.

With help from the Missouri Department of Conservation, the authority developed a landscaping plan to reduce erosion and pollution and build biodiversity.

Cutting back on mowing benefits air quality because mowers don’t have the pollution controls cars do.

The project will cost $300 an acre, which will be more than paid for the first year in reduced mowing costs, Rowland said.

Prior to this project, 75 new trees were planted throughout the complex.

Mike Hendricks, mhendricks@kcstar.com

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