- Associated Press - Thursday, October 16, 2014

KENAI, Alaska (AP) - The city of Kenai plans to restore a vandalized 1.4-acre meadow planted with wildflowers that drew dozens of photographers when it bloomed in late summer.

Kenai police early Monday morning received calls that a pickup truck was driving back and forth in the city meadow along the Spur Highway, creating deep ruts, the Peninsula Clarion (https://bit.ly/1wdnpyr ) reported.

The truck was still tearing up the field when police arrived, said Kenai Police Sgt. Ben Langham, but became stuck in a ditch. A man behind the wheel of the pickup, Josiah Mcelwain, 19, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He is free on $500 bail. He was not listed in directory assistance and online court records did not list an attorney for him.

Bob Frates, Kenai Parks and Recreation director, said the city seeded the meadow for the first time in late May or early June. The seeding created thousands of blooms of red, pink, white, purple and gold.

The wildflowers each season lose about 30 percent of their vigor and the city this fall hydro-seeded the field at 50 percent strength, Frates said.

“Unfortunately for us, we just re-seeded it. We did our fall application last week,” Frates said. “A lot of that, in places that the vehicle traveled, is probably for naught. What it does, is it disrupts the seed bed and will leave areas where we don’t have seed.”

The meadow will have to be graded and reseeded, he said. Reseeding the entire area will cost about $5,600.

“We’re trying to make it as spectacular next summer,” he said.


Information from: (Kenai, Alaska) Peninsula Clarion, https://www.peninsulaclarion.com

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