Kevin Nelson: Good to have rain and grass again

Published 6:30 am Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Ahhh…the much-needed spring rains have finally arrived!

Many area lawns have stayed nearly dormant in recent weeks, and flowers and trees seemed to be holding back their summer array of leaves, preserving what little moisture they’d been able to wick up from the arid soil. What seemed to be cooler-than-normal temperatures surely aided in the delayed spring-into-summer growth as well.

Enter the rainfall this week. It’s almost as though someone turned on a switch; the combination of warmer temperatures and spring rains have brought forth a plethora of green in lawns, forests, and fields plus many vibrant colors in flower gardens and flowering trees. Adding to this splendor will be the seasonal addition of the hanging flower baskets (248 again this year!) plus the numerous planters and ground plantings at various locations, all to be placed the week of May 24.

So now, the park mowing will kick into high gear as well. The parks crew will have nearly a full complement of seasonal staff this year, so weather permitting, they hope to be able to keep up with the needs of mowing, trimming and other parks care.

We’re thankful for the groups who have stepped forward in recent weeks and to those who still are to aid in park clean-up. We’ve frowned as vandalism has continued, this past week in Lion’s Park and on the outside of Riverside Arena, further stymying resources of staff time whilst negatively impacting maintenance costs. Again, the ‘eyes of the public’ would be greatly appreciated in helping to curtail such incidents.

Related to mowing, the question surfaced as of late, “Why is Parks and Rec getting involved with dictating when local residents and property owners should mow their lawns?” The answer in short: It’s been the responsibility of Parks and Rec for many years to handle this for the City. In fact, our department sends out the notifications to property owners regarding violations, and we’re also authorized to send out a contracted mowing company, at the property owner’s expense, for those who ignore their request to comply. This isn’t something which we take great pride in doing, especially when we’ve struggled from time to time, to keep up with the mowing in the growing number of acres for which the Parks and Rec Dept. is responsible. However, it is necessary for controlling noxious weeds, keeping healthy relations with  your neighbors, and maintaining curb appeal.        

Thank you for doing your part in care of private lawns and for volunteering to assist with clean-up and improvement efforts within public parcels.