Navigating Winter with Our Parks Department

January 18, 2024

As we are beginning to think about pulling out our snow boots and parkas from the back of the closet, our parks department has already been working hard to prepare our parks for the winter chill. Their year-round commitment ensures that our parks remain inviting and well-maintained for everyone to enjoy! Check out their winter to-do list.

Throughout the fall, our parks crews complete leaf-clearing and mulching at all our 44 parks. The mulch protects the grounds and plant life during the colder months. Weather permitting, crews aerate, seed, and sod to contribute to the health and vitality of the parks. Teak benches are brought in for refinishing to preserve their longevity. In addition, the team conducts a thorough inventory of picnic tables throughout the parks, collecting those in need of repair. New tables are constructed when necessary, ensuring well-maintained and sturdy seating options.

In November, the staff spends two to three days preparing the Danny Cunniff Park sled hill for winter fun by removing rocks and filling any holes. They are also fencing in the driving range at the Highland Park Golf Learning Center in preparation for the Winter Dog Park. At the same time, another crew is installing the hockey boards in preparation for the outdoor rink at Sunset Woods Park. Once the temperature drops to below-freezing for five consecutive days, the crew strategically floods the frozen ground 24 hours a day over 5-6 days to create a thick ice floor.

Winter is an opportune time for tree maintenance & tree trimming to promote the long-term health of our parks’ beautiful trees, particularly our beautiful oak trees. Crews also take this opportunity to remove buckthorn and other invasive species. This eco-conscious effort aims to preserve the natural biodiversity of the parks, promoting a healthy and balanced ecosystem.

In the early spring, the crews meticulously take down the sled hill, Winter Dog Park, and hockey boards at Sunset Woods. Benches and picnic tables are also placed back in our beautiful parks, signaling a seamless transition from winter to spring and preparing the parks for the warmer seasons.