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Gasworks Park Acquires New Sprinkler System

Cathy Duchamp
07/03/2001

While most Seattle lawns will turn brown this summer, the grass at Gasworks Park will remain green. KUOW’s Cathy Duchamp explains.

USUALLY THE ONE MOUND OF GRASS YOU CAN COUNT ON GETTING BROWN IS SEATTLE’S GASWORKS PARK. BUT NOT ANYMORE. THE PARK HAS A NEW SPRINKLER SYSTEM, PART OF AN 8 MONTH ENVIRONMENTAL CLEANUP THAT WAS MANAGED BY SEATTLE PARKS’ ROBIN KORDIK: We have a new 3-million dollar investment here. And in order to preserve it so that people will always have it available to them, we need to keep the grass alive. RESIDENTS WHO HAVE STOPPED WATERING THEIR OWN LAWNS BECAUSE OF THE DROUGHT MIGHT BE APPALLED. BUT KORDIK SAYS SEATTLE IS UNDER COURT ORDER TO MAINTAIN THE CARPET OF GREEN. AS PART OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL CLEAN UP, 12-THOUSAND CUBIC YARDS OF CONTAMINATED DIRT WERE REPLACED WITH NEW, CLEAN FILL. THE GRASS KEEPS THAT SOIL FROM ERODING, AND KEEPS CARCINOGENS DEEP IN THE GROUND AT BAY. KORDIK ADMITS SHE HAS A PUBLIC RELATIONS CHALLENGE CONVINCING PEOPLE THAT WATERING GASWORKS IS A GOOD THING. BUT SHE SAYS THE NEW SPRINKLER SYSTEM WAS DESIGNED WITH CONSERVATION IN MIND: There are sensors that are built into it so that each zone can judge how wet is the root zone. If it's too dry the system goes on. If too wet the system stays off. CREWS ARE STILL TINKERING WITH THE SENSORS. AND KORDIK IS ON PINS AND NEEDLES ABOUT THE EFFECTS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE TRAMPLING THE GRASS ON THE 4TH OF JULY: Half of me wants it to be a fabulous wonderful day. The other half of me say you know if it rained we wouldn’t have as many people. But that just puts off to another year how the site performs with 80-thousand people. NEW AUTOMATED SPRINKLER SYSTEMS ARE BEING INSTALLED THIS SUMMER AT PUBLIC PARKS ACROSS THE CITY. I’M CATHY DUCHAMP. KUOW 94.9 PUBLIC RADIO.
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