Lake Cowichan’s new work superintendent Kam So answers a question from town council. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)

Centennial park turf to get TLC before next baseball season, but dog-walking has to wait

Works dept is now attacking problem of clover, weeds, dandelions choking out the turf

“The lower two baseball fields [at Centennial Park] are not in great condition,” public works superintendent Kam So told Lake Cowichan town council Oct. 15.

It was part of an extensive series of reports that So, who just took over the position last month, had prepared for council’s public works committee meeting.

So, what’s wrong with Lake Cowichan’s newest ballfields?

“The Town of Lake Cowichan had a horticulture expert inspect the field and his observations included the field contained Red Thread, which is a turf disease associated with low nitrogen and pH levels. Irrigation was an issue as the over-watering in the evening resulted in reduced oxygen to the roots of the grass. Lastly, there were bog-like conditions resulting in the fields containing 50 per cent weeds (clover, plantain, and moss).

“Continued regular maintenance of water and mowing the lawn at this point would exacerbate the bog-like conditions and would not return the field to playable condition,” So said.

The treatment involves “a combination of herbicides, lime treatment, fertilizers, aeration, and weed control will return the field to a grassy field and a playable state. The lawn wasn’t maintained to a proper horticultural level. The field would not be usable while the treatment is taking place.”

The work has started.

“We want it to be ready by the baseball season. We’re racing,” So said, adding that he has consulted with minor baseball.

“The president of Lake Cowichan & District Minor Baseball Association (Kelly Bergstrom) is aware of the conditions of the ball fields. When consulted about the possible schedule and treatment of the ball field, Bergstrom was supportive of the rehabilitation plan and excited that the ball field will be returning to a playable state,” the works superintendent said.

***

In a related story, So addressed the idea of leaving the Centennial Park ballfields gate open so people can walk their dogs there, possibly scaring off the Canada geese that have made the park a frequent gathering place.

The idea was broached at a September parks committee meeting, and So has investigated both parts of the idea.

“Geese are a health hazard because they carry diseases that come from their feces. An adult goose can drop as much as two pounds of feces a day. This is dangerous because people can slip on the droppings and hurt themselves. The droppings can also destroy the grass on the playing field.

“It’s been observed that more than 50 geese can be at Centennial Park at one time.

“Centennial Park’s field is currently in a state that requires significant rehabilitation. A baseball diamond is supposed to be covered in grass. The park’s field is currently a mixture of grass, clover, and dandelions.”

Regular maintenance (a combination of fertizers and watering) will result in more of the same, So said, explaining that next year the lawn will be replanted in time for the ball season, following field rehab now.

“Due to the ongoing maintenance, it is not recommended that the public use the park, until it is safe to do so,” he said, but added that since geese deterrents such as noise makers or silhouettes of predators have limited effect on the sophisticated birds, and trapping and releasing them is difficult and ineffective, “the most environmentally friendly and cost effective way to deal with future geese issues is to leave the park gate open.”

Especially when there are such a number of geese, “leaving it open is a great idea”, he said, hoping that eventually the birds get tired of being chased by dogs and do not come back to the park.



lexi.bainas@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Sidaway on fire for Cowichan’s Caps

Tanner Sidaway exploded for a pair of two-goal games in the span… Continue reading

Charles Hoey Park packed for Remembrance Day

101st anniversary of Armistice marked in downtown Duncan

What you said: New Duncan airport a terrible idea

When Citizen reporter Robert Barron wrote that a study commissioned by the… Continue reading

One dead after fiery crash in Duncan

A man has died after a fiery motor vehicle collision Monday night,… Continue reading

‘We love you, Alex!’: Trebek gets choked up by ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant’s answer

The emotional moment came in Monday’s episode when Trebek read Dhruv Gaur’s final answer

Birthday boy: Pettersson nets 2 as Canucks beat Predators

Vancouver ends four-game winless skid with 5-3 victory over Nashville

Judge rejects Terrace man’s claim that someone else downloaded child porn on his phone

Marcus John Paquette argued that other people had used his phone, including his ex-wife

Petition for free hospital parking presented to MP Jody Wilson-Raybould

What started as a B.C. campaign became a national issue, organizer said

Petition to ‘bring back Don Cherry’ goes viral after immigrant poppy rant

Cherry was fired from his co-hosting role for the Coach’s Corner segment on Nov. 11.

B.C.’s high gasoline prices still a mystery, Premier John Horgan says

NDP plans legislation this month, seeks action from Justin Trudeau

Group walking on thin ice at B.C. lake sparks warning from RCMP

At least seven people were spotted on Joffre Lakes, although the ice is not thick enough to be walked on

VIDEO: Don Cherry says he was fired, not sorry for ‘Coach’s Corner’ poppy rant

Cherry denies he was singling out visible minorities with his comments

Woman airlifted with serious injuries after being struck by car in Nanaimo

Woman, hit in crosswalk, suffers life-threatening injuries; driver co-operating with police

Most Read