AUSTIN -- There's good news for those who've been missing Zilker Park.
Two weeks after the Austin City Limits Festival ended, the City of Austin has reopened the southwest portion of the Great Lawn. But officials tell KVUE there's a long road ahead for the rest of the lawn.
Workers removed fences from 15 acres as part of the Great Lawn reopened on Monday.
“I'm happy that this is opening back up so we can have somewhere to play. It's definitely not as green as it was,” Christina Kunz said. “I went there one or two weeks before ACL and it was beautiful and lush and dry.”
During the ACL Festival about 75,000 people a day trampled across the Great Lawn. That was until the festival's last day when torrential rains flooded the park and forced the festival to be canceled.
Two weeks after ACL’s last band left the stage, a soggy brown landscape replaced the lush green grass.
The Austin Parks and Recreation Department and ACL organizer C3 Productions walked through the park last week. They estimate about two to three acres may be permanently damaged.
“That's really not bad,” said Parks and Rec Division Manager Charles Vaclavik. “Those are high traffic areas that had a lot of vehicle traffic and the food court areas and stuff like that.”
Vaclavik says crews have spent the past week aerating and fertilizing the 40 acres of the Great Lawn. Some areas may need to be re-turfed, but Vaclavik says the lawn will grow back greener than ever in time.
“Underneath you've got 10 to 12 inches of roots that are undamaged. We have a good root system, so ultimately underneath it's going to come back,” Vaclavik said. “We're anticipating not a big loss of grass.”
With just three weeks left in the growing season, the Parks and Rec Department says it will evaluate the damaged areas of Zilker Park again in March.