“It was a perfect storm,” city parks and recreation manager Colin Smith told a meeting at the Leslie Science and Nature Center in mid-June. He was speaking of all the rain–especially the nearly two inches that fell overnight early in the month–but also of the budget cuts that had his department falling behind even before the wet spring made the grass in the city’s parks grow long. The grass may grow even longer come July, when the new fiscal year starts and the interval between mowings stretches from fourteen to nineteen days.

Many city parks are in floodplains, and they’re designed to allow high water to spread out. The Huron inundated those lowlands after the June rains: Natural Areas Preservation staffer Jason Frenzel told the group that its flow was the highest recorded in ninety-four years. And Smith reported: “Riverside Park was underwater last week.” Knowing that no good can come from getting mad at Mother Nature, he looked at the sunny side. “There were a lot of Canadian geese there with the children,” Smith said, “and people in Fuller Field were fly fishing for carp.”