Mulberry Fields hill to be repaired

The hill at Mulberry Fields is a favorite place for sledding in Zionsville. (File photo by Ann Marie Shambaugh)

The hill at Mulberry Fields is a favorite place for sledding in Zionsville. (File photo by Ann Marie Shambaugh)

By Ann Marie Shambaugh

The hill at Mulberry Fields is a favorite local spot for athletes to train and families to sled, but all of that attention has left the mound in need of repair.

“I remember seeing it when the morning sun hit it and it looked flatter than a pancake up there,” said Matt Dickey, Zionsville superintendent of parks and recreation, adding that the town’s intent is to keep long grass on the hill.

The Zionsville Board of Parks & Recreation voted April 8 to spend $6,137 to provide additional maintenance for the hill. Schlensker Consulting of Whitestown has developed a plan to treat the east and south sides of the hill to restore its condition heading into the warm weather months.

In April, crews will aerate, fertilize and complete slice seeding on the east side of the hill. The south side of the hill will require power raking, hydroseeding, fertilizing and hydromulching. Dickey said the area will remain open as the work is being done.

The parks board also discussed a request from a resident to install a railing or use some other method to encourage sledders to walk up the hill in a certain area rather than cross the paths of sleds coming downhill and risk a collision.

After consulting with their attorney, board members decided not to take any action because similar measures elsewhere have shown to be ineffective and could add liability for the town.

“It’s better to leave the hill as it is and encourage safe use,” board member Phil Howard said.

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