Most local trails reopened after flooding

Monday, July 30, 2018
Spencer Parks and Recreation Director Delray Bredehoeft said the department is currently evaluating grassy areas damaged by the recent flooding with a “wait and see” approach to determine which areas will need to be reseeded. Some of the areas with the most noticeable grass damage include West Leach Park (pictured). Bredehoeft also said his department has been busy cleaning trails, with most trails reopened for public use.
Photo by Joseph Hopper

The Spencer Parks and Recreation Department has continued to work through a busy season which included record flooding throughout most of July. Spencer Parks and Recreation Director Delray Bredehoeft said the majority of trails in the city’s trail system are back in “usable” shape.

“Most of the trails are open,” Bredehoeft said. “We still have some water at Moose Pond, and then I think there is some water out on the trail coming off Country Club Lane going off to Stolley Park. (We’ve) been out trying to get them cleaned. They’re usable at this point but they will probably continue to do some cleaning at this time.”

The director cautioned trail enthusiasts to be wary of trail conditions as cleanup continues, saying conditions could degrade easily in the future due to weather.

“If we get a little rain they could be slick, or greasy so to speak,” Bredehoeft said. “We grade (mud and debris) off with loaders and get as much off we can get that way. (Then we) come back and start sweeping it off. But we can’t always get all of it. ... We haven’t done a total inspection (of all the trails) but it doesn’t seem there was substantial damage after the flood.”

Bredehoeft also addressed damaged grasses in some city parks, notably East Leach, West Leach, Stolley and Moose Pond.

“We went through this in 1993,” Bredehoeft said. “If you go by the textbook, bluegrass and rag-grass is supposed to withstand 30 days of flooded waters. What really happens is when the water is on top of it, it isn’t too much water, but it’s that it doesn’t have any oxygen. The grass can survive that for 30 days and we were in that time period. Right now we can sit back and see what mother nature does, and if it doesn’t improve then we’ll have an inter-seeder and seed the areas.”

The director said the grass damage isn’t a cause for alarm, and pointed to the city’s crabapple trees which have survived multiple major flooding events in their 50-year history.

“It’s no big crisis,” Bredehoeft said. “Mother nature overcomes.”

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