Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Parks Staff Outlines Program for Newman Park Maintenance
A recent letter to City Parks officials from a nearby Grandview Park resident mentioned concern about the weed growth both at Grandview and Newman parks. A Newman Park neighbor also recently wanted some explanation for the amount of cut grass left on the ground at Newman Park. Assistant Parks Director, Joel McKnight, and Parks Superintendent, Sam Calhoun, addressed these concerns.
Mr. McKnight is currently implementing a turf management program that will minimize and eliminate weeds as they mature without destructive herbicides and will build-up the turf grasses such as Bermuda as the overnight temperatures continue to warm-up and the Bermuda begins to grow. His program will take time. It isn't intended to be a quick fix. Rather it will be a long term solution that is designed to replenish and invigorate turf in all of El Paso's parks. He explained that often cut dry grass does stay on the ground in order to add nutrients such as nitrogen back into the soil. Recently, wet grass was left on the ground at Newman Park because of an equipment problem. By tomorrow afternoon, the situation will be remedied.
Mr. Calhoun emphasized the need for the neighborhood association to work with its Park Supervisor, Victor Flores. In a meeting this morning at the park with Mr. Calhoun and Mr. Flores, the need to continue to build the canopy at the park was raised. An Ash that has yet to bud out was examined and showed plenty of green tissue. Areas for newer trees were pinpointed. With years of experience managing parks, Mr. Flores advised the continuing clustering of trees while maintaining the central open space of our park. He also said that he chooses trees based on their expected canopy development.
From time to time, it may seem as if Newman Park is "suffering". However, a turf management program is in place as well as a scheduled program to plant more trees at the right time.
Park management now is a tricky proposition because of the economic environment requiring budget constraints even cuts. The usual temporary summer workers will not be hired. This job-freeze will put additional work loads on the permanent staff during the "green" season. However, Mr. Calhoun did state that watering would be the last thing to be cut. He is committed to the lives of our trees.
Victor Flores adds: "Our partnership is very much alive! We will continue to push for improvement of your park as well as all others citywide."