24 acres of Lucy Park will be cleared of most brush. The Office of Public Works partnered with the U.S. Geological Survey to study the Wichita River and evaluate what may have been behind the flooding in recent years.
Glenn Soerenes, an engineer at Public Works said, "After the 2007-2008 floods we kind of noticed that we were getting a little more flooding than normal and it's also happening at a little bit higher levels than what we expected."
According to the survey, overgrowth, twigs, and vegetation played a big part in the floods, holding water back from flowing and draining out of the area freely.
"The less obstructions we have in the flood plain and the flood way area, the faster water can get through and get downstream where there's actually a little bit more slope to the river that can handle the capacity a little bit better," added Soerenes.
Lucy Park will serve as a test area for the city to determine how efficient and costly a project like this would be if done on a greater scale. Eventually the city's goal is to clear the entire area along the 14 mile long Wichita River. A project that Public Works says would take several years to complete.