Rain keeps city racing to keep up with mowing

Wettest September in San Antonio history leads to overgrown fields

SAN ANTONIO – Parks all around San Antonio are looking green, but some are also looking a little long.

This September has been the wettest in San Antonio's history, with more than 16 inches of rain, with measurable amounts on about half the days this month so far.

Michael Baldwin, department manager for San Antonio Parks & Recreation, said the weather has cost the department four or five days worth of mowing work, while also causing the fields and lawns at city parks to grow quickly.

"The grass just grows really fast when it rains like this," Baldwin said.

The department contracts out most of its mowing work, Baldwin said, and most of the parks are cut on a 21-day mowing cycle.

The schedule can change depending on the weather, with more mowing during significantly rainy seasons or mowing being stopped in certain areas during drought seasons. Despite all the rain, he said, most of the parks have not had their mowing delayed past the 21-day mark.

The parks that do get skipped over, Baldwin said, are cut as soon as weather allows. Once the rain is done, the wet turf may keep crews from mowing out of fear of tearing it up or causing ruts.

"When it's really wet, we can't use heavy equipment," he said.

Baldwin said Parks & Recreation staff members are currently helping with the mowing as they try to catch up with the work, and all things considered, the situation is just a minor irritation.

With all the fresh green grass, the long parks are just a mowing away from good conditions.

"Just three or four weeks ago, some of these grasses out here were brown," Baldwin said at Kennedy Park. "On the plus side, things look beautiful, and once it gets cut, it looks fantastic."

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