"During winter rains and even during heavy watering, these paths became streams, uncovering roots and washing soil down into the western end of the meadow. The Crossroads Circle was intentionally designed with a low wall and steps on its western side to raise the bottom of these paths in order to slow water runoff and retain soil."
I have walked "the Dell" for 25 years, in rain and shine, and NEVER witnessed the conditions you discribe. Even when the several million dollar drainage system the city install failed and the grove returned to it's natural state of being a lake, the paths and the west end beyond the elms remained dry as they have been since John McLaren created the space in 1921.
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