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City seeks to save Pedretti Redwoods
Rubberized bark to replace turf in medians
The Redwood trees at Pedretti Park are having problems with the salinity of the recycled water used to irrigate the park under drought conservation efforts. - photo by CANDY PADILLA / The Journal

The City of Turlock is using precious well water to irrigate Pedretti Park after recycled water began having an adverse affect on the Coastal Redwoods that embellish the public facility.

According to Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities Superintendent Erick Schulze the high salinity, or salt water levels, in the recycled water were the source of the issue.

“We’re switching back and forth between well water and recycled water to figure out what the tolerance level for the trees is while also trying to save water,” said Schulze.

All of Pedretti Park, which is watered by sprinklers, is being irrigated with the combination of well water and recycled water.

With the warmest months of the year approaching,  the watering of all City parks will continue to be monitored closely and measures implemented last year precipitated by the drought conditions will be maintained. These actions include limiting water park hours and decreasing the length of time the water cycles run once the button is pushed by users from five minutes to three minutes. 

“You might also see that some parks will have large dead spots and that’s a matter of us trying to use the least amount of water so that we can to maintain the parks,” said Schulze. “We’re continuing to try and find ways to conserve.”

Watering the medians that exist on roads like Canal Street, Golden State Boulevard, and Christoffersen Parkway has also been a topic of discussion as the City received a grant for $150,000 to purchase rubberized bark, a material made from shredded tires. This is the second time the City received the grant, the first being in 2012, and the bark allows the City to significantly cut its water usage for landscaping the medians.

“We saw it as an opportunity to test the bark out and see if it would look good, if it was heavy enough to stay in the median while we did landscaping,” explained Schulze. “We’re very satisfied with the product.”

Calling it the “new direction of live turf medians,” Schulze said the grant money will be used to place rubberized bark in the medians on Monte Vista Avenue in front of California State University, Stanislaus which presently has live turf. Other than the rubberized bark, medians across town have a mixture of artificial turf as well as trees and drought resistant plants which are watered through drip irrigation.