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Low-maintenance grass considered for Linear Park

Susan Wood, Tahoe Daily Tribune

The city of South Lake Tahoe hopes to breathe new life into the Linear Park.

The narrow strip of land off Highway 50, between Pioneer Trail and Ski Run Boulevard, has sparked complaints from residents that the native vegetation looks unkempt. By July, the city plans to green things up with slow-growing “turtle turf.”

A well provides a limited amount of water to that area, so the idea of an irrigation system and low-maintenance sod sounds attractive to Redevelopment Manager Judith VonKlug.

“We’re excited about it. (The turf) still requires irrigating, but only a third of the water,” she said.

The irrigation project will require access to a water line from the South Tahoe Public Utility District. Planting needs approvals from the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, California Tahoe Conservancy and the City Council.

The city surveyed the Tahoe Meadows Homeowner’s Association, which has a stake in maintaining the park. The association said it favored wildflowers, a likely foundation for weeds. Plus, sod for wildflowers can be an expensive ground layer, VonKlug said.

Turtle turf, supplied by Dayton Valley Turf, requires no fertilizer — another selling point for Tahoe. Fertilizing the grass, which is similar to Kentucky blue grass, may turn it yellow.

If the city receives approvals, the park project will cost an estimated $100,000.

In a projected $90,000 job expected to come before the council by June, the city plans to test turtle turf on a dirt lot at the Ski Run Marina before deciding to lay it at Linear Park.


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