09/01/11 — City parks weathered Irene well

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City parks weathered Irene well

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on September 1, 2011 1:46 PM

Thanks to Hurricane Irene's late downgrade before coming ashore and some preventive planning by the Parks and Recreation Department, department head Scott Barnard said the parks across the city are all in good shape despite the hurricane.

Although a quick glance into Stoney Creek Park reveals more than a dozen downed trees, Barnard said parks and recreation dodged some bullets as the amenities in the park seemingly dodged the falling trees.

"The damage from Stoney Creek is really not that bad. It took down power lines that didn't serve anything and there was no damage to disc golf baskets and these were trees that were already a little bit suspect," he said.

The other parks fared well, also, he said, although a picnic shelter was flattened at Berkeley Park. Barnard said Berkeley would likely be one of the last parks to be reopened since trees have fallen across power lines in the area.

Barnard credited the parks and recreation staff for the lack of severe damage at the park, as workers nailed down or otherwise secured picnic tables, trash cans and other objects that could have been displaced by the high winds.

At the golf course, conditions were better than hoped as well, though trees did damage some greens and fairways. The new drainage system allowed much of the water to flow away from the course, and Barnard said there was no standing water on the course.

"It definitely had some wet spots, but nowhere that was inaccessible," he said, adding that the golf course staff said the drainage system had proved invaluable. "They said we never been able to do this two years ago."