August 17, 2012

News Release

For Immediate Release

Water Conservation Trims JVP Fountain Schedule

The Springfield-Greene County Park Board continues to take steps to voluntarily reduce water usage in parks, sports complexes and facilities.

Starting Monday, the fountains at Jordan Valley Park will operate on a modified schedule. With pool season coming to an end, all outdoor pools will soon be drained. And throughout the system, irrigation schedules have already been adjusted to conform to, or even exceed, City Utilities of Springfield's Odd/Even watering schedule.

Parks water conservation measures include:

Jordan Valley Park

Starting Monday, Aug. 20, the half-hour jetted fountain shows at Jordan Valley Park will run six times a day, a 57-percent reduction from the current 14 daily shows. Show times will be during the park's most popular usage: on the hour at noon, 1 p.m., and hourly 5-8 p.m. The Ozarks Stream feature will continue to circulate, as will the Founders Park Fountain, providing residents of all ages a place to cool their toes during hot weather. Jordan Valley Park irrigation is adhering to CU's Odd/Even watering schedule.

Outdoor Pools

The first day of school in Springfield signaled the close of outdoor pool season. Silver Springs, Westport, and McGee-McGregor pools are already closed and drained. Fassnight, Grant Beach and Meador pools are scheduled to be open on a limited basis until Labor Day. All pools outdoor will be closed and drained after Sept. 3.

Sports Complexes

Since Aug. 1, irrigation at Meador Sports Complex, James Ewing Sports Complex, Killian Sports Complex, Cooper Tennis Complex and Lake Country Soccer Complex has adhered to CU's Odd/Even watering schedule. Irrigation has been cut from seven days a week to three, a 57-percent reduction. Parks is currently adjusting schedules to allow Sports Complex irrigation to be done on an overnight basis for better absorption and less evaporation.

Reduced irrigation has already stressed the turf at Parks sports fields. Minimal irrigation is necessary to deter early dormancy, which would leave sports fields with no resiliency and damaged turf — a safety hazard to youth and adult athletes.

Parks sports complex use is not limited to Parks programs. Numerous youth, high school and university teams use Parks sports facilities, which also host dozens of state and national tournaments every year along with thousands of visitors these events bring to our community.

Golf Courses

The fountains at Betty Allison at Oscar Blom Golf Course (at Bill & Payne Stewart) have been turned off and drained. Both fountains as Rivercut Golf Course will soon follow suit.

High-efficiency irrigation heads were installed 2006-07 at Bill & Payne Stewart, Horton Smith and Rivercut golf courses. Irrigation of high-impact areas is necessary to maintain golf course playablility, including greens (five times a week) and tee boxes and fairways (three times a week.) Irrigation is closely monitored and conducted as minimally as possible during non-peak periods. All Park Board Golf Course irrigation is served by private wells, not City Utilities. Rough areas on the golf courses are not irrigated.

Botanical Center

The Botanical Center lawn, a drought-hardy Buffalo Grass, is served by underground irrigation currently operating only one night a week.

Starting Aug. 20, irrigation of the Botanical Center's 26 themed gardens will operate on CU's Even/Odd watering schedule. Nominal hand watering continues as needed in specific gardens.

Dickerson Park Zoo

The Zoo's Jumping Jewels water play area has been turned off for the season. For the health and safety of Zoo animals, no change in water usage is planned for animal exhibits.

Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park

Irrigation of the Farm Park's Corn Maze ended in early August. Irrigation of the orchard, pumpkin patch and plant nursery continues one or two times a week, via drip irrigation. For the health and safety of Farm animals, no change in water usage is planned for animal exhibits.

General Parks

Most parks do not receive any type of irrigation.

Because of soil conditions, minimal irrigation is necessary in some areas of Chesterfield Park and Doling Park. This irrigation has followed CU's Odd/Even watering schedule since Aug. 1.

Approximately 1,000 newly planted trees are hand-watered once a week throughout the system.

Parks will continue to monitor water usage and seek ways to conserve water as drought conditions persist in our community.

"Responsible parks management denotes both good stewardship and conservation, of water and all natural resources," said Bob Belote, Director of the Springfield-Greene County Park Board. "We are doing everything in our power to reduce and conserve water usage throughout the parks while still maintaining a safe and playable environment for our park users."

For media inquiries, contact: Jenny Fillmer Edwards, Public Information Administrator, Springfield-Greene County Park Board, 417-874-2176 or 417-224-5510.