Parkville officials welcome property donations to nature sanctuary

The Sullivan Nature Sanctuary near Platte Landing Park will nearly double in size with the approval of two property donations at the Board of Aldermen meeting last week. In 2006, the sanctuary was established from a combined land purchase and donation from the Brown and Smalley families, who in April approached the City wishing to make an additional donation. The Sullivan Nature Sanctuary, located south of Rush Creek and West of Main Street, currently contains 4.18 acres of protected land and is part of 8.64 acres obtained from those families in 2006. Bill and Claudia Brown offered to donate a 1.15 acre lot and a 2.3 acre lot was also offered by Bob and Alison Smalley, Marcy Small and Barrie Smith. Both parcels are located north of the existing Sullivan Nature Sanctuary and south of English Landing Center. According to Assistant City Administrator Sean Ackerson, the donation will expand the nature sanctuary and enhance the open space in Platte Landing Park. Mayor Nan Johnston thanked the families for their support and assistance to the park program, presenting the Browns with a recognition plaque for their family and the other related families involved in the land donations. “We love Parkville and we appreciate your beautiful parks and everything you do,” Bill Brown said. “We’re happy to help.” Nature sanctuary director Bob Fluchel reviewed the proposal with the sanctuary board in late April. The board determined the additional land would create a buffer to development to the north as well as providing additional protected land. The budget impact of the addition to the nature sanctuary is expected to cost about $200 per year, barring floods or other incidents. While it is not a budgeted expense, Ackerson said the costs could be absorbed into the nature sanctuary budget. New signage in the sanctuary is expected to cost less than $800 and could be funded by the nature sanctuary fund or through donations to the sanctuary. The Community Land and Recreation Board (CLARB), unanimously approved the request, noting the donation would enhance the sanctuary and the park and would have a minimal financial impact. A portion of the land could be used in the future to widen Main Street or to install an additional access to the parks south of the railroad tracks.

Find the whole story in this week's issue of The Platte County Citizen.