Spring has Sprung in Murphy
Members of the Murphy Parks Department at Timbers Nature Preserve: (From left) John Burton, David Holland, Matt Foster, Danny Mayberry and Colton Nations.
Murphy Parks Department has spotlighted spring with pockets of color throughout the city. The department employes 11 full time staff who maintain approximately 280 acres of parkland, facilities and open spaces, as well as 30 acres of medians and right of ways (ROWs). Maintaining these areas includes bed preparation, tilling in new soil, planting flowers/perennials, fertilizing, mulching, watering and pruning.
Murphy Parks Superintendent, Matt Foster, has worked at the City of Murphy for 13 years. He explains when he became interested in this line of work, “I began working in landscaping at Dallas Baptist University on the grounds crew in charge of the landscaping for the university President's home. “ He has 15 years of experience in landscaping maintenance, is a licensed irrigator, licensed pesticide applicator, certified park & recreation professional and a certified playground safety inspector. Regarding his favorite aspect of this job, Foster said, “The ability to have an impact on the aesthetics of the community of Murphy and provide safe play spaces for families.”
In the fall, they planted 95 flats of annual flowers and 3,700 tulip bulbs. In addition to the tulips, the majority of the plants included pansies and snapdragons. Foster said, “We prefer to maintain a mix of annual and perennial plants.”
In May, annuals including Penta, Angelonia, Sweet Potato Vine, Vinca and Victoria Blue Salvia and perennials, including May Night Salvia, Coneflower, Lantana, Turk's Cap, Blackfoot Daisy and Autumn Sage Salvia will be planted on medians, at parks and around city facilities. The parks department determines where to plant which plants based on heat, soil type, etc. and past performance of plants in certain areas. They have also planted a mix of wildflowers, which include bluebonnets. Besides the flowering plants, ornamental grasses, such as beach grasses, (Mexican Feather Grass) have been planted.
For the majority of the year, the parks department is focused on landscaping, even in the fall and winter months. They also maintain park facilities including painting, trash removal, playground safety inspections and playground repairs. The parks department provides event set up and tear down for all 17 special events offered by the City of Murphy.