County Reopens Turf Fields After Repairs has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

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The Augusta Chronicle (Georgia)


Columbia County reopened part of Evans Towne Center Park last week after weeks of repairing turf damage caused during a Memorial Day weekend concert.

Ropes that cordoned off the grass area in front of the Lady Antebellum Pavilion were taken down July 23, the county said in a statement Thursday.

Turf experts with the county's Community and Leisure Services division — a team that includes an expert who managed the turf at Sanford Stadium at the University of Georgia — have been coaxing back the grass that was damaged by crowds generated May 25 and 26 at Papa Joe's Banjo-B-Que.

While rain fell on that event, concertgoers and festival organizers moving across the park helped turn large parts of the park's closely cropped turf into mud, in some places several inches deep.

Visitors have been able to still use the paved portions of the park, including the playground and the dog park.

Workers have been cultivating a sturdier strain of grass for the park's lawn area. Other finishing touches before the reopening included a final round of herbicide spraying and one more thorough fertilizing.

"It's coming back really well," Columbia County Deputy Administrator Matt Schlachter said of the grass.

Since repairs have been done on staff time and within the county's regular budget, costs have not been excessive, Schlachter said.

Teams did make irrigation repairs, he said, "but the majority of those repairs had nothing to do with Banjo-B-Que. It was other areas of the park where we knew we had repairs we needed to make, and we took this opportunity to get in there and do it."

Re-sodding the ground wasn't required, and much of the extra spending went to buying extras fertilizer and herbicide.

"The overall cost has been minimal to let Mother Nature do her job," Schlachter said. "Get out of her way and she'll make things green."

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August 1, 2018


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