Watering vegetation on hike and bike trail continue despite water restrictions

Water restrictions are not hampering efforts to grow vegetation along the hike and bike trail.

It stems from federal requirements mandated in the contract to build the trail that makes sure vegetation is starting to take root before the project can be completed.

Contractors are required to grow the grass.

Director of Public Works Russell Schreiber says giving the vegetation some liquid nurishment just happened to land during the summer.

"Whenever the grass comes out and establishes, the water will be stopped," Schreiber says.

Trucks spray hydro mulch and water along the hike and bike trail trying to get vegetation to grow along the trail.

It means watering the soil continuously despite pleas to conserve water.

Schreiber says the grass will help prevent pollution and debris from flowing into the ditches and streams.

"It's there to keep the slope from eroding during a rain event," Schreiber says. "We obviously don't want the back field eroding from away from the trail and causing erosion underneath the trail."

Once the grass begins to grow, less water will be used until it is treated like any other park or grassy roadside around the city.

"It is just like your lawn and my lawn. I don't water it and it turns brown in the summer. And next spring when the rains come... it will turn green again and the same thing will happen alongside the trail," Schreiber adds.

As the drought conditions worsen, city water used to grow the grass will no longer be allowed.

"This current stage does not restrict him (the contractor) from using potable water but the next stage would and he would have to haul it from the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The city does not expect to go into a stage three drought until early september..

Areas from Barnett to Johnson Road have already begun to see grass grow.

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