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Parks in Turlock to be less green this summer
Parks, Arts, and Rec commission to be given report today
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Parks in the city of Turlock will be less than lush this summer as water conservation measures mean minimal watering for Turlock's green spaces.

The parks as well as street medians, like the ones that divide Monte Vista Avenue and Golden State Boulevard, are only being watered two times a week as part of new water conservation standards. 

"Residents will see the parks not quite as green as they used to be. There will be some hot spots, or yellow spots, of grass," said Parks, Recreation, and Public Facilities Superintendent Erik Schulze. Schulze will be giving a report on the City of Turlock's new water restrictions and its impact at Wednesday's Parks, Arts, and Recreation Commission.

 "Our goal right now is to save the trees," he said.

To retain water as much as possible the City is presently building dirt berms around trees in the medians. The berms, which are banks of dirt around the trees, keep the water enclosed near the tree's root structure so water is not wasted.

"It's almost like a little damn you build so water doesn't flow out," explained Schulze.

While Schulze said the City is committed to keeping the trees alive even if that means letting grass turn yellow, there are some areas where the turf in Turlock may remain green: Pedretti Park and Turlock Regional Sports Complex.

"We've got a major investment in the turf out there so we are working to keep those green," said Schulze.

So far the water parks in town are also up and running from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., but there are ways the City is cutting back, such as shortening the release time of how long the water runs as well as lightening the stream. These conservation measures are in full effect around Turlock, said Schulze.

"I think people get this misconception that watering is being done at all times of the day, but it's different quadrants of the parks being watered at different times," said Schulze, noting that the City’s watering schedule is structured around hours of use at the parks and complexes.

While the watering schedules may vary, the influence of the drought will be one thing locals can count on seeing when they visit parks this summer.

"More than likely by the time July gets here the grass will be a much lighter shade of green," said Schulze.


Also on Wednesday's agenda for the Parks, Arts, and Recreation Commission:

- The commissioners will discuss the Community Events and Activities Grant Program for fiscal year 2015-2016

- A discussion regarding the relocation of the War Memorial Cannon will take place. The cannon was removed in early May as a result of the City of Turlock’s sale of the 900 N. Palm Avenue properties to the Turlock Irrigation District.

- Commissioner Larry Yeakel will lead a discussion on the consideration of including the City Hall Art Gallery as part of the schedule of events for the Turlock Art Walk "Art Around Town"