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'Lack Of Consistent Maintenance': Grand Jury Investigation Finds Davis Parks Overrun By Invasive Weeds, Clovers

DAVIS (CBS13) — A grand jury investigation has found that parks in the city of Davis are being taken over by clovers and other invasive weeds.

Playfields Park proudly displays awards it's won in years past for having "fields of excellence," but now, the park's baseball diamonds — and other city parks — are getting a different kind of recognition.

The grass has gotten so bad, it's the focus of a Yolo County grand jury investigation called "Clover Taking Over."

The report finds: "Davis parks greenery is unkempt and shows a lack of consistent maintenance."

"The City of Davis takes all these concerns very seriously," said Jenny Tan, the director of community engagement for the city.

Today, there are more than just a few rough patches on the pitch at Northstar Park.

"My kids played soccer on this field," one visitor at the park said.

Areas that should be green grass instead have large swaths of weeds, clover, or bare dirt.

So, why are Davis city parks seeing so many maintenance issues?

"The rains that happened this year in addition to the winds and the third year of drought we're experiencing I think have really led to the issue of brown spots and weeds," Tan said.

Property owners pay a $49 annual parcel tax specifically to fund parks, but even with that dedicated revenue, the grand jury found that parks still face more than a $500,000 maintenance deficit.

The overgrowth also comes shortly after city leaders voted in 2020 to ban the use of weed killers like Roundup due to health and safety concerns.

"The city has already started to take steps to address these issues. The city has hired more crews and more staff," Tan said.

Some people are so fed up that they've resorted to pulling weeds themselves.

"The city doesn't seem to be able to maintain them anymore," said Davis resident Mary Anne Laumas.

The grand jury makes a number of recommendations including planting new grass in parks by the end of the summer.

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