Wet Summer Brings Extra Work for Parks Crews

By: Val Thompson Email
By: Val Thompson Email

July 12, 2013

The wet summer is making it very difficult to take care of Charlottesville's parks.

The city sent a crew of workers to Azalea Park Friday morning to clear away piles of mud that slid all over the playground and walkway when a nearby stream overflowed during Thursday night's storm.

"It's a lot of work," said Twobears Burgos, as park maintenance worker. "You can see where the water just flowed and made trenches through this mulch."

Burgos says the work is relentless.

"With Mother Nature doing what she's doing. With the trees and the limbs falling down, the flowers and the weeding," Burgos said. "I mean it is double time."

At Meadow Creek Gardens, behind the English Inn, trail planner Chris Gensic was making sure the trails had not disappeared.

"This year's been the growing-est year I've ever seen," Gensic said.

He says the parks department has a backlog of projects, from clearing trails to building playgrounds, that can't be done because it won't stop raining.

"If it ever dries out, we're going to have a lot of leaf blowing and sweeping and cleanup to do," Gensic said.

The workers at Azalea Park could not afford to wait for dry weather.

"Our supervisor said 'Come out here and work regardless, rain or shine,'" Burgos said. "He wanted to make sure everything was prepared for the weekend."

And it was a good thing they did get the park prepared, because less than an hour after the crews left, a large group showed up from the Boys and Girls Club.

"It's been great," said Boys and Girls Club worker Tynelle Bradley. "Kind of different because it's very wet, but they're enjoying themselves."

Officials with the Virginia Department of Transportation say the storm damage from Thursday night was pulling crews away from scheduled maintenance, so they are also running a backlog of projects.

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