18 West Seattle parks to be part of water-saving experiment

Seattle Parks just announced a pilot project to reduce, or eliminate, irrigation – watering – in certain parks this June through September, and they warn that means you might see “brown grass” in those parks, among other effects. Here’s the news release with details. After receiving it, we asked which West Seattle parks would be involved, and have just received the 18-park list from Karen O’Connor at Parks:

We plan to reduce water in varying amounts. The parks that we plan to reduce water use in West Seattle are:

Alki Beach Park
Alki Playground
Seacrest Park
Walt Hundley Playfield
Westcrest Park (incl. W. Sea. Reservoir)
Don Armeni Park
Roxhill Park
Hamilton Viewpoint
Emma Schmitz Overlook
Hiawatha Playfield
Cottage Grove Park
Southwest CC/Pool
Camp Long

The ones we will try to turn off completely are:

Belvedere Park
Fauntleroy Place
Greg Davis Park
Lowman Beach Park
Solstice Park

15 Replies to "18 West Seattle parks to be part of water-saving experiment"

  • chris May 22, 2012 (11:04 am)

    “Brown grass” when heavily walked on soon becomes brown dirt…I think we need to preserve our investment in our landscaping. Water the heavily used parks, please.

  • StephenHJ May 22, 2012 (11:06 am)

    In my opinion, grass is SUPPOSED to hibernate during the summer (turn brown) – it recovers on it’s own when there’s water to support it.

  • Kenny May 22, 2012 (12:08 pm)

    Well, if this summer is anything like last, we won’t have to worry about brown grass until late August

  • boy May 22, 2012 (12:19 pm)

    Heres an idea. Lets say aleast 15,000 men in west seattle went pee twice a day in a private part of thier backyard. This would save 3 ga. per day per man. This amounts to 45,000 gallons of water saved per day. This amounts to 1,350,000 gallons of water saved per month. This should be enough to take care of our parks. But we all know that when we save water the rates are sure to go up.

  • LE May 22, 2012 (12:37 pm)

    My grass hasn’t minded being without summer water. I think this is a reasonable experiment, as far as the grass goes. Worst case, they get some bare spots and replant.
    But I’m not so sure about trees. After all the neighborhood brouhaha about protecting the big Lowman Park tree from the stormwater project, and millions of dollars spent condemning property and designing the project so it saves the big tree, it would seem wrong to put the tree at risk from lack of water.

  • bridge to somewhere May 22, 2012 (1:35 pm)

    Because Roxhill Park contains a lot of bog habitat (brush, reeds, cattails, etc), in the summer months that area sees brush fires annually. Indeed, there was a brush fire there a couple of month’s ago (WSB covered it)–and that was even with the grown fairly moist! I can’t imagine that reducing irrigation in that park will help with these brush fires.

  • bridge to somewhere May 22, 2012 (1:37 pm)

    I should say that as a purely aesthetic matter, I’m OK with brown grass in parks–but because of Roxhill’s unique role as wetland habitat, I wonder if perhaps Roxhill shouldn’t be lumped into this experiment with the other largely-grassland parks (Camp Lontg excluded, of course).

  • bridge to somewhere May 22, 2012 (1:38 pm)

    Here’s the WSB article about the Roxhill fire I mentioned: https://westseattleblog.com/2012/04/why-police-and-firefighters-were-at-roxhill-park-this-evening

  • dsa May 22, 2012 (1:59 pm)

    I doubt that they care about the water as much as the cost of maintaining a green lawn. Conservation is a good sell.

  • circe wiggins May 22, 2012 (2:41 pm)

    Is there a reason at least 12 of these are in west seattle ? What about thr resy of thr city ?

    • WSB May 22, 2012 (2:53 pm)

      There are apparently many more elsewhere – but the list isn’t in the news release; as is standard if we get a city news release that does NOT include a breakdown of potential West Seattle effects/sites/whatever, I immediately contacted the issuing department (Parks in this case) and asked if they could tell me whether WS parks were involved and if so, which ones … the list in the story is the list they sent back. I didn’t ask for the full-city list … TR

  • Peter on Fauntleroy May 22, 2012 (6:05 pm)

    I have never watered my grass. Keep hoping it will die. Stupid stuff just keeps growing thicker and greener every year.

  • susieq May 22, 2012 (8:01 pm)

    As a volunteer involved with Roxhill, I can say that the bog/wetland areas are not irrigated (although a few spots catch some runoff.) That’s part of the point of planting native plants. The lawn areas ARE irrigated in the summer. And yes, we do have human-caused fires in the park, especially around the 4th of July. Please help us by reporting fireworks use, or better yet, talk with these people! Sometimes they just don’t think they will start a fire.

  • NW Momma May 22, 2012 (10:17 pm)

    Annoying. We don’t water out grass at home but really enjoy a green lawn to play in at the park. How about someone talk to the less populated and much hotter climates into doing this…. Yakima, palm springs, Bend- YOU IN???

  • 01Coug May 23, 2012 (9:59 pm)

    As a turfgrass professional (former golf course superintendent) I can tell you that this will cause problems in high traffic areas, ie ballfieldes. Brown grass, isn’t necessarily dead grass in the summer. It is usually dormant. However if it is dormant it isn’t growing and cannot recover from lot’s of wear and tear. This leads to bare/dirt spots. These areas get compacted and take a considerable amount of time and effort to re-grass. My suspicion, knowing the financial difficulties that Seattle Parks is having, is that this is a cost saving effort. To determine if this truly will save money Parks needs to determine if the savings from turning off the water will outweigh the cost of re-grassing. I’m guessing they’re banking on this being the case. If the area where the water will be turned off is predominently large open spaces with out intensive, localized traffic this probably won’t cause much of a problem beyond some brown grass.

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