We are excited to bring some positive news to our members – and hope you like it, too.
SWCDP has talked about “change” for years. How much of the playground talk every year is about our turf and what to do about it, right? Well, time for talk is over; time for change is now. And, in order to make an essential difference to our turf outcome we must break away from doing things the same way. Hence, we are retooling and taking a fresh approach. We are shakin’ it up a bit!
We keep doing what we’re doing – Gonna keep getting what we’re getting . . . Turf at end of SWCDP season
Inevitably, one significant change sparks the need for changes in other areas, too. So, we have a lot going on and because of this we realize there will be many questions. We also realize many of our members just want the “bottom line” while others like to dig deeper to understand the what, why, how, where, when – it’s coming.
Part One, Bottom Line. Today’s email covers a complete turf management outline including estimated time lines, products, and our membership calendar for the 2020-2021 season and projected calendar for future seasons.
Part Two, The Details – The next email will be sent in a few days. It will include basic FAQs and anticipated Q&A. If you have a specific question you would like included in the Q&A, send it now so that we have adequate time to address it in the upcoming email.
At this time, we do not know when this pandemic will be over or if it will come back later this year. SWCDP will make the best decisions possible based on available information and circumstances as they arise.
Our dog park plans for the immediate future and associated membership fees are in place for 2020-2021. If the dog park must be closed due to Covid-19 or any other health or safety issue caused outside of our control – loss of dog park access will have to be shared amongst all members as we will not be able to change our calendar or refund fees. We know you understand this. We all want our dog park community to stay safe – but since we do not receive any operational funding from the City or other sources – we really need SWCDP membership fees to keep the dog park in good shape and keep things going as smoothly as possible.
Hope you will stay with us during the necessary changes – 2020, the year of Transformative Change!
The many turf professionals SWCDP has consulted with over the years view dog parks as being in their own universe – no other turf takes the pounding and abuse that dog parks do. And, yet, every professional said the same thing: Seed in the Fall. Keep turf aerated and fertilized. Proper watering schedule will require ongoing adjustments per weather.
Big focus in our new turf management program will be on reducing the weeds that snuff out the grass development – and continuously amending the soil. We need healthy soil to feed healthy grass. But,our eyes are wide open; we are very aware that no matter what we do and how well we plan – Mother Nature and heavy dog/human traffic will impact some of the outcome. We are striving towards a long-term goal to reduce our closing time, if not eventually eliminating most of it. Key to this is building up a strong root system which could take 2-3 seasons and has its best chance for success if we simultaneously incorporate other dog park improvements to lighten the foot/paw load on the turf.
Yep, we are closing the dog park again this coming Fall — you saw that correctly. This is our “transition” to Fall seeding and renovation. Gotta do it. Never going to get there without the first step. To compensate – we are giving our members a continuous 66+ week period, minus the 10 week Fall closing, the 2-3 week Spring closing, and the two days for pre-emergent work. We know some of you will see this as an inconvenience – but we ask that all of you try to view the changes in a positive light – we are making a solid effort to improve our dog park while giving our members a longer open window during the transition period. More time, same membership fee.
Upgrading the turf program will have its greatest chance for success if we also consider some of the improvements from our 5 Year Plan / Wish List.
We need to find ways to take some of the foot/paw load off the turf while at the same time keeping our dog park green and natural. Massive turf deterioration caused by crowds of humans standing in same place over and over again and dogs constantly pounding and spinning as they play – our greatest challenge. Improvements, such as walkways and permanent climbing maze may be our best bet. We really do not want to chop the dog park in half and create double closing times. Let’s take the load off!