Rain delays in cleanup, lawn maintenance at city parks

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WICHITA -- The City of Wichita is catching up with lawn maintenance after storms this past month.

It's a problem that's frustrated residents like Elizabeth Ward.

"I picked up a lot of fireworks, cans, balloons... balloons especially, balloons that were in the kids area," she said.

Ward worries the extra trash could be dangerous to kids or pets, like her 7-month-old dog, Lemur. She takes him to Riverside Park a few times a week. She sometimes brings her four-month-old child too.

"A baby could cut its foot or a child could cut its foot. Kids come and play in these fountains," she said. "And people walk barefoot in the park."

Parks and Recreation Interim director Marty Miller said that it could be a couple weeks before people will see results in parks across the city. The heavy rains prevented crews from doing their work.

"Well, we had 10-and-a-half-inches of rain in June. It's really put it behind two weeks in mowing and then we had the Fourth of July," Miller said. "So we're trying to catch up some of the other parks. We were just over at Watson Park, now we're back at Riverside Park."

Part of the lawn maintenance is done by city workers and some is outsourced through other companies. Miller said the city faced cutbacks years ago, also contributing to the delay.

He encourages residents to toss out their own trash and to contact the Parks and Recreation staff if they see a problem.

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