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Rain, cool temps make park maintenance difficult

by Melanie Jongsma

LANSING, Ill. (May 21, 2019) – “I need it to stop raining,” said Michelle Havran at the May 20 Park Board meeting. Havran is the Superintendent of Parks and Maintenance for Lan-Oak Park District, and she and her crews have been unable to cut the grass in most of Lansing’s parks because frequent rains have left mud and standing water. Mowing in those conditions only damages the sod.

Though the rainfall totals are higher than average this year—11.28 inches since March 1, compared to the normal 8.05 inches—Havran believes it is the cooler temperatures that have compounded the problem. Evaporation rates are lower when the weather is cool, so even on days when Lansing has not had rain, the ground has simply not dried.

In addition, the weather has delayed the application of weed treatments, because rain simply washes the product away and makes it ineffective.

“Our ball fields look horrible,” admitted Havran.

Havran has received calls from would-be park patrons who are upset about the condition of Lansing’s parks. “We would love to cut the grass,” she tells them. “There is really nothing we would like to do more.”

This spring’s rain and cooler temperatures have made it difficult to mow Lansing’s parks and apply weed treatments. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma, 5/20/2019))
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.