City to replace park's grass

DOWNEY - The Discovery Sports Complex is only eight months old but turf on the park's soccer fields is already in need of replacing.The City Council on Tuesday agreed to pay $29,000 for the turf's renovation, which will require the soccer fields' closure for about four months. Brian Ragland, director of public works, said in a report that the turf was destroyed "for a number of reasons," including a unique soil consisting of silt and clay not found in other parts of the city. The soil at Discovery Sports Complex "inhibits the percolation of water resulting in the inability for salts and nutrients to leach into the subgrade," Ragland said. The soil is also highly compacted, Ragland said, contributing to the lack of root development. Downey AYSO and the Cal South youth soccer league are currently the only organizations permitted to use the soccer fields, although unauthorized adult pick-up soccer games are common, Ragland said in the report. As part of the renovation, a series of holes 1-inch in diameter and 12-inches deep on a 6-inch grid will cover both soccer fields. The holes will be filled with dry kiln sand to break up soil texture and compaction, increasing percolation and aeration, according to the report. A contractor will then "uniformly broadcast about 500 pounds of bermudagrass seed over the two fields. The seed bed will then be covered with organic top dressing material to promote moisture retention and germination. The irrigation system will be adjusted to water frequently and often during a germination period of up to four weeks. Approximately four months duration will be required for establishment, during which time the fields will remain closed to play." "It should be noted the work does not end here," Ragland said. "After next soccer season ends, the soccer fields must be aerated again and overseeded with coolseason turf to remain green during fall and winter months. In the spring, the bermudagrass will break dormancy and will regain dominance if it survived the previous season. "Depending on the outcome of next soccer season, it may be necessary to repeat the drill and fill and overseed process again each year until enough sand is introduced to permanently change the soil texture and permeability." -- Eric Pierce, City Editor

********** Published: March 26, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 49