Discovery Green Blog
Keeping Discovery Green Conservancy BeautifulSeptember 17, 2014
by Ashley Roberts
In our mission to keep Discovery Green beautiful, our maintenance crew makes regular updates and improvements to the park. From replanting sod and replacing wooden boards to repairing ceilings and repainting exterior finishes, the maintenance workers at Discovery Green labor continuously to enhance our park-goers’ experiences. To get the inside scoop on the importance and timing of park updates, we spoke with Discovery Green operations director, Clark Curry.
Q: As of mid-September 2014, what park maintenance updates are being performed or have been performed recently?
A: Sod and rubber mulch were both recently replaced and the Lake House deck was just renovated. We are currently painting the exterior metals throughout the park, including the Alkek Building, the Lake House, The Grove, the Anheuser-Busch Stage and Transier Bandstand. In addition, park benches and the Ipe boards at the Anheuser-Busch Stage and Transier Bandstand have been or will be cleaned and oiled, and we recently completed re-installing the ceiling boards in The Grove’s Vista Room.
Q: Why are these updates being made?
A: The grass on the Jones Lawn was replaced due to heavy use and damage caused during late fall and early spring. The new sod comes from our supplier, a division of the famous King Ranch in Southeast Texas. Made from recycled tires, the rubber mulch along the Lake House and the Alkek Building conceals the sub-surface French drain that allows rainwater to run into the lake. (The previous rubber had become contaminated with soils and debris collecting in the voids between the rubber pieces.) The Lake House deck was repaired because the fasteners holding the Ipe boards in place loosened over time, causing the boards to gap and shift, creating trip hazards and causing women to get their heels stuck. In addition, the Ipe boards at the Anheuser-Busch Stage and Transier Bandstand and park benches were replaced after becoming weathered and dull over time. The oil gives the wood a nice, rich appearance.
Q: How often are updates done?
A: With summer being the busiest time of the year for activity in the interactive fountain, maintenance is continuous. The fountain requires inspection, servicing and adjustments multiple times per day. Filters have to be backwashed, strainer baskets have to be kept clean, motors and pumps have to be serviced, and water quality has to be checked and maintained at acceptable levels. A complete and thorough cleaning and servicing takes place every February.
Q: Is there anything you would like to add?
A: Our lawns are mowed weekly from March through October. The rest of the year they are mowed on an as-needed basis. During the period with weekly mowing, we are provided with an on-site gardener for 40 hours per week. In the other months, he is here only 24 hours per week. The contractor is responsible for everything in the park except the trees, aquatic plants, and the seasonal color plantings, as in-house staff cares for these items. We strive for an all organic horticulture program to maintain the landscape at Discovery Green.
If, while in the park, you hear nailing and hammering, smell fresh paint or notice your favorite walking route is temporarily closed, remember, Discovery Green continually updates and maintains the park to keep it a beautiful, safe and enjoyable environment for all. Discovery Green Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and since we are not a city park, we depend on the support of the community to maintain the park and to fund the more than 600 free events held here every year. Please consider making a gift today.