AUSTIN (KXAN) — Despite last week’s rain, Central Texas remains in a severe drought. A stretch of record-breaking temperatures has made it difficult to maintain a healthy lawn.
Nevertheless, there’s one special spot in Austin that’s still looking green despite the drought.
That’s the Great Lawn of Zilker Metropolitan Park that’s looking lush and well-watered compared to most lawns in the area.
Throughout the year, the Austin Parks and Recreation Department works around the clock to keep the 350-acre park looking up to par.
Yet, this summer its staff has experienced challenges with keeping the turf irrigated and landscape alive.
Its saving grace is Lady Bird Lake — as staff is able to pump in around 300,000 gallons of water each evening from the lake.
This comes at no cost to the City of Austin, as the non-potable water irrigates everything.
Zilker Park maintenance supervisor Juan Bustillos said it’s difficult to imagine what may have happened if they let it dry out.
“If we allowed nature to do what it does and didn’t apply any water, it would be very unsafe conditions,” he said. “The turf would pretty much die, and then we would probably be looking at replacing turf.”
Certain parts of the park, like the area near Barton Springs Pool, is dry as can be, because the irrigation system has only been put in place on the 50-acre Great Lawn.
With all the recent rain, the Parks and Rec staff hasn’t watered the park in over two weeks.