Some debate has bloomed over beds of native wildflowers near the Sioux Central Schools complex at Sioux Rapids.
Recent concern have emerged over what are considered to be noxious weeds growing in the beds, causind the school board to consider possibly removing the beds when they met in August.
A local environmental activist argues that removing the plantings would be a mistake.
The bed was planted about 10 years ago. however took a while to establish because the school staff continued to mow it off down to the dirt, says Marian McNabb, President of the Little Sioux Federated Garden Club. McNabb, who operates a Nature Center at nearby Linn Grove, says the flowers were originally seeded by a second grade class, the Little Sioux Garden Club and the Iowa DOT. She feels the natural flowers are educational and should be learned about in schools, not destroyed. "It was used for educating some of the kids back then but since then no one seems to ever use it," McNabb says.
Recently some Iowa state-listed noxious weeds grew up in the bed, including thistles. Some concerns were brought up to the board by at least one school board member, McNabb noted.
"We couldn't really spray the noxious weeds without hurting the flowers that were there," explains Sioux Rapids Superintendent Dan Frazier.
"The wildflower area is one of the best in Northwest Iowa with numerous native species. There are birds and butterflies in this wildlife area, it's an excellent habitat for different species. It's a nice snow break in the winter,. This area has numerous advantages," McNabb responds. She said the area has received national recognition by the National Council of Garden Clubs.
The School board asked McNabb to come in periodically and remove the weeds. Frazier said McNabb was fine with that, 'If it meant saving our flower beds," she told him. McNabb says they've been working to get the thistles removed. Frazier says this is the first time the issue has come up at the board meeting. "Really they were good to us," she says.