What’s going on with the grass at Washington Square?
You may have noticed areas of grass are sometimes cordoned off at Washington Square this winter. Here’s the good news: It is temporary and normal while the sod is in its root establishment period. As the remaining rainy season continues, we’ll occasionally close certain areas to further allow the sod to establish itself. We are grateful to our dedicated park patrons for your patience and understanding.
Community members asked for the construction project to start after the Italian Heritage Festival, we heard them and adjusted to a later construction start. With a Summer 2019 start, we made sure the community understood that the park opening/completion would be at the start of the rainy season; which means the sod roots would not be fully established as it would during non-rainy seasons.
The sod mix was selected specifically for the water conservation. Bermuda grass is semi-dormant in cool weather; hence the root establishment is also semi-dormant. (NOTE: semi-dormancy creates a brownish color for lawns during the cool months). Once warmer weathers begin, the lawn will rebound and bloom green.
As we continue in our winter rainy season, heavy rain events may create water pooling in the low areas of the lawn. To ensure the long-term viability of the lawn, Rec and Park’s Operations and Capital are closely monitoring the lawn and will be taking a conservative approach in identifying conditions that warrant cordoning off portions of the lawn.
In March, we will have a detailed management plan in place. The Bermuda grass will be coming out of semi-dormancy and the soil will have had a chance to dry out. This includes a process that will stimulate root establishment and therefore improve the drainage of water through the sod layer.