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

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

Sierra Acton, regional district director for Shawnigan Lake. (file photo)
New parkland in Shawnigan creating connections

Used to created parking for the popular Masons Beach Park

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Chris Wilkinson
Chris Wilkinson column: This could be the worst thing done to you during the pandemic

As a result, all of us will contend with more ‘scarcity’ thinking and mindset.

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead in Crofton

Pair discovered dead in their Crofton home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Most Read