Woodland Adjusts Watering Rules for Parks

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WOODLAND --

The Woodland City Council is poised to adjust its watering restrictions for landscaping in order to save turf and trees in its parks. There is a proposal that would allow watering on a fourth day.

City Public Works officials say the city has reduced irrigation water use 57 percent over the past two years -- far exceeding state drought guidelines.

But its three-day-a-week watering rules that also restrict landscape watering to between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. are a problem for its larger parks.

Public Works Director Greg Meyer says the automatic sprinklers can't cycle through fast enough for a proper watering, threatening turf and trees.

Meyer said a fourth day of watering won't necessarily use more water.

"Less water more often ... is much better and a lot more water conservation for our parks," Meyer said.

Replacing dead turf and trees could cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars if they are not watered enough. But the same goes for homeowners, many of whom are losing grass and trees because they have cut back on water use.

But Meyer says parks used by many people should be a priority.

"It's not like somebody's front yard where they're the only people using it," Meyer said.

Park-goer and father Tyler Powell won't argue the point. He says he'd rather his kids play on healthy grass than hard, dried turf.

"I would want my yard to look good too, but I'd rather my kids stay safe ad have fun rather than me look good in front of neighbors," Powell said.

If the City Council approves, the fourth day of landscape watering would only apply to large public areas. That rules out large scale commercial landscaping.

Also affected would be median strips maintained by the city, especially in the new parts of town. The grass in many of the medians have died along with some of the young trees recently planted in them.

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