Many parks and recreation areas along North Texas lakes are beginning to reopen, as the high water from spring rains continues to recede, but not at Lake Grapevine.
“Really essentially the only things we have open right now are a baseball field and a couple softball fields and a couple soccer fields,” said Kevin Mitchell, director of parks and recreation for the city of Grapevine.
Some boat ramps may be back open in time for Labor Day, but many of the parks and recreation areas will remain closed for months.
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Once covered by several feet of high water, parks and recreation areas along Lake Grapevine are now left caked in a heavy layer of sun-baked silt, including the soccer complex at Oak Grove Park.
“We had anywhere from 10 to 12 feet here, to 15 or 16 feet on the far north end of this soccer complex,” said Rusty Walker, with Grapevine's Parks and Recreation Department.
Gushing water continues to pour from the floodgates to lower the lake level, but it may be another month or more before the lake level returns to normal.
Only then can repairs to the parks fully begin.
Lakeside campgrounds are ruined, ball fields are bare of grass and thousands of trees are dead.
Many athletic fields remain covered in water and won’t reopen until next spring after grass has enough time to grow back.
“There’s not a magic pill that you can come through. It's just a lot of handwork, scrapping the silt up and cleaning things and a lot of labor to get it done,” said Mitchell.
The city of Grapevine alone expects repairs to the parks and recreation areas there will cost millions.