Seaside’s Cutino Park gets a water-wise makeover.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Grass is so 2011. The new trend at city parks is a low-maintenance native landscape.
Seaside’s David Cutino Park, a multi-use ball field on Noche Buena Street and San Pablo Avenue, recently made the upgrade with help from a $60,000 California American Water grant.
The park is popular for Little League baseball, Seaside Raiders youth football, and soccer through the neighboring Boys & Girls Club. But it had one of the city’s oldest irrigation systems, Seaside Parks Supervisor Mark Parker says, and used too much water.
The Cal Am grant funded a state-of-the-art irrigation controller, a new water main and water-saving sprinklers for the sports turf. Parks staff also planted drought-tolerant natives, replaced the grass on the first – and third-base foul lines with a cinder mix, and laid new paths of decomposed granite.
“Our water bill will go down, and it’s more friendly for the kids,” Parker says.
At the request of Seaside police, parks staff also removed a wall in an area reportedly “notorious for fights, graffiti and gang-related activity,” making the area more visible from the street.
The Cal Am grant, part of a state-approved settlement agreement from the 2009 rate increase, also funded water-saving upgrades at Shoreline Park and the Del Monte frontage area in Monterey,
“The purpose was to help public authority customers decrease their water use by providing incentives,” Cal Am spokeswoman Catherine Bowie says.
She expects the program to be renewed with the next rate hike, which the California Public Utilities Commission is set to consider this spring.
Parker’s eyeing other grassy spaces in Seaside: “We’ll find some new areas in the city to remove turf and save water.”