May 11 2017

Hampton to Receive Wall Padding at Third Base, Pest Control, Return of Irrigation, Fallen Trees

Report on May 3rd Park Commission Meeting – 

    On Wednesday May 3, I attended the Park Commission meeting at City Hall. This commission meets once a month to discuss the work being done to improve and renovate the parks and public spaces in Piedmont in order to make it a more beautiful and enjoyable place to live. This meeting was mostly updates on the various projects that have been happening around Piedmont.

The Linda Kingston Triangle is almost done and is quite beautiful. Hampton Park will get padding on the brick wall right next to third base very soon and the maintenance schedule is almost complete. In addition to Hampton, an RFP has gone out for Coaches’ Field in an effort to fix the drainage problem. The goals for Hall Fenway are replanting for more ground cover, replace the trees that were lost in the drought, and install better irrigation in order preserve water. This work will be funded by the Piedmont Beautification Foundation.

Park Commissioner Brian Mahany updated the Commission on the Arbor Day event, which had a fairly good turnout even though it was raining and there were many last minute changes. Next year, he suggested, there should be more public outreach and the activities should be more focused and theme based.

Finally, Dave Frankel gave his monthly maintenance report. The main topic was the fallen trees in the parks, which were mostly due to the heavy rains in the past month. However, these trees also did not have much uphill root growth because they were growing towards where they could reach sunlight. Since the trees have fallen, there is more sunlight, so there will be no replanting in order to avoid a repeat of this situation.

Also, Mr. Frankel discussed the beginning of IPM (integrated pest management) this year. The goal of IPM is to prevent the use of harmful pesticides in the Piedmont parks.

Finally, Mr. Frankel talked about turning on all of the irrigation systems in the parks, which includes drip irrigation systems.  I think it is a bad idea. Northern California, although “technically” out of the drought, still needs to preserve water because California has been in a drought for at least the last ten years. I would much rather have brown grass in the parks than run out of water.

After the meeting, I talked to Parks and Project Manager Nancy Kent. Ms. Kent is the staff liaison for the Commission, so she is at every meeting giving updates and proposals for the parks. At this meeting, there were few problems where Ms. Kent indicated concern. Of course, the few potential problems (i.e. Hampton Field) are on their way to being resolved.

by Emily Szerdy,  Piedmont High School Senior

Editors Note:  Opinions expressed are those of the author.

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