Plant thefts at Marion Reservoir ?discouraging,? says park ranger

Officials at Marion Reservoir are reaching out to the public for any information that could help them identify the person or persons responsible for removing plants and flowers near the overlook on the south end of the dam.

Traci Robb, lead ranger with the U.S. Army Corps of Engin?eers at Marion Reservoir, is disheartened with the recent rash of missing plants.

?Three different times this summer, plants have been stolen,? Robb said. ?We find this disappointing and discouraging after all the hard work that has been done to improve the grounds around the reservoir.?

It?s not just the monetary loss, Robb said, but it?s also a federal crime and simply uncalled for.

About three years ago, Robb said, they hired a landscaping architect to look at ways to make the area more visually appealing.

?At the overlook,? she said, ?we put in new landscape stones, a new kiosk board, new lake map and a variety of plants and flowers. Our volunteers spent countless hours watering the plants, weeding, mulching and tending to them every week.?

By the second year, she said, the time and energy were beginning to pay off.

?The plants and flowers were getting bigger and starting to fill in,? Robb said. ?We had so many compliments from visitors, and the overlook made a good first impression.?

The most recent theft happened late Friday or early Saturday morning, June 19 or 20.

A total of 20 plants and flowers have been dug up and include four Sedums, four Hostas, two bushes, five cone flowers and five Blue-Black Salvia plants.

Prior to adding the new plants and flowers, Robb said, the overlook didn?t have much vegetation other than spreaders.

With the addition of the plants and decorative rocks, Robb said, it further enhanced an area where people enjoy stopping to view the lake map sign, have a picnic, use the beach area or just admire the lake, Robb said.

?We are practicing different surveillance techniques around this area, but we also need your help,? she said.

If anyone has information about these incidents, Robb asks that they call the Marion Reservoir Project Office at 620-382-2101.

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