Park to remain closed for grass watering

Christmas Hill ‘crime scene’ needs restoration

In response to “many inquiries and expressions of frustration over the extended closure of Christmas Hill Park,” Gilroy city officials on Aug. 19 said the park could remain closed for weeks after the FBI completes its crime scene investigation.

The extended investigation of the park after the deadly mass shooting July 28 resulted in a suspension of the park’s regular post-festival watering routine, the city said in an announcement distributed on Next Door sites.

This resulted in “a hardening of the soil and scorching of the park grass,” the statement read.

“Efforts to rehabilitate the grass started this week but will take much longer than normal due to the current extremely poor condition of the grass,” read the Aug. 19 statement.

Plans for rehabilitating the grass include two phases: running the irrigation system in short cycles to allow the water to penetrate the hardened soil and get to the grass root system; and fertilization, seeding, and continued watering to allow new seeds to sprout and take root.

“The City of Gilroy is committed to rehabilitating, restoring, and opening the park to the community as soon as possible,” the announcement said.

“We recognize that closure of the park causes inconveniences for commuters, school families, and dog walkers and we ask for your patience as we work diligently to bring our beloved park back to life,” it continued.

“Our community experienced a horrific tragedy less than three weeks ago.  Many in our community are still healing including those who were injured, families of victims, and many others. Please keep holding each other up. We are #GilroyStrong.”

The city gave no information about when the park, or parts of the park might reopen.