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Lodians asked to stay off grass at DeBenedetti Park

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Posted: Tuesday, October 4, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 6:43 am, Tue Oct 4, 2011.

Lodi city staff is encouraging residents to stay off the newly sprouting grass at DeBenedetti Park.

Even though the field is now green, the grass is still in a fragile state and can be damaged from people walking on it, parks superintendent Steve Dutra said.

Recently, people have been walking their dogs, running up and down the hills for fitness training and even driving on the new grass, Dutra said.

“We are asking people to please be respectful of the property,” Dutra said.

The city is planning to install more signs around the park asking people to stay off the grass, city spokesman Jeff Hood said.

Residents will most likely have to wait until at least spring of 2012 to play on the the three multi-sports playing fields, which are in the northwest section of the park at Lower Sacramento Road and Century Boulevard, Dutra said.

Dutra said city staff is working with the contractor to create a green, lush field, and the city will not accept the field until the grass is plentiful.

The grass is Celebration Bermuda, which thrives during hot weather. Because of construction delays, the grass was not planted until October 2010, so there was not enough heat for it to sprout.

The city then worked with the contractor, Hemington Landscape Services, to make sure the grass would flourish this summer.

The goal is to open the park in spring 2012. Volunteers will plant 200 trees donated through Tree Lodi for the park. The city will also install a sidewalk from the street to the field to make it compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Once the trees are planted, the park will be opened to the public in spring 2012.

Contact reporter Maggie Creamer at maggiec@lodinews.com. Read her blog at www.lodinews.com/blogs/citybuzz.

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