Course Designers making the most of Zilker Park's hillside. © Brian Nelson

Zilker Park has become the site of debate and learning lessons. © Brian Nelson

Yesterday, USA Cycling released a full report of the findings of the impacts on Zilker Park by consulting arborist Patrick Wentworth. We examined the report, and reached out to arborist and cyclocrosser Robert Brudenell to get his feedback on the report looking at the aftermath of the 2015 Cyclocross National Championships. Here is what he had to say:

“The USAC report by ISA certified arborist Mr. Patrick Wentworth on the impacts to the Zilker Park trees of the USAC National Cyclocross Championships highlights the importance of quantitative data and science to support or refute the presence or lack of actual damage rather than perceived impacts of cyclocross events.  It also highlights the importance of communication prior, during, and after events.

“The promoters of high profile cyclocross events will have to do their due diligence (including providing supporting quantitative data pre- and post- event) if they want to gain access to high profile parks. The data shows, as it appears to at Zilker Park, Providence, and other venues that cyclocross races have a very minimal impact on park grounds and trees. Additional precautions and planning could further reduce impacts.

“The arborist’s report takes into consideration various other factors in the overall health of the trees such as: past weather data; historic and current park maintenance practices; prior tree conditions/past problems. Only by documenting a wide array of observations and conducting testing will the sport be able to show evidence of the relatively minor impact cyclocross races, even national championships events, have on park grounds.”

Robert Brudenell examined the necessary precautions promoters can take surrounding their events in our Issue 28. Don’t miss also on our interviews in the same issue with all the promoters of the next three cyclocross National Championships to see what lessons they imparted from what happened at Zilker Park.