Most people don’t have front yards in the city, and if they do, they are just big enough to accommodate one sun-bathing fat guy. So, for recreation, we turn to our local parks.
Marion Park, a two-block oasis with a few huge trees near Barracks Row, is our go-to park. It’s got an area for dogs, lots of benches and a large play area for kids. It is the town square for our little corner of the world, where neighbors gossip and dogs bark nonsensically.
Since last year, a good deal of the grass has died, replaced by other greenery most would call weeds. Not really great to lie on, but fine, natural greenery. In an area where the dogs roam, keeping nice grass is basically impossible.
“Not so!” says the National Park Service.
Looks great guys. According to “This Old House,” grass is best planted before or after summer. Not in the middle of summer. Oh well, at least this failed “turf restoration,” which also makes a large chunk of the park off-limits, doesn’t come out of anyone’s pocket. Instead it comes from everyone’s; this park is federally maintained. I seem to recall similar scenarios playing out in other D.C. parks and planting boxes. This is wasteful and ineffective. Just because there is nothing else on the docket for the day is no reason to waste time and money. And if it wasn’t for the massive tree shading some of the grass, all of it would be dead. Prediction: Another attempt at turf restoration during the proper season.
A couple weeks after the grass started looking really crispy, the Service decided it was time for watering. The grass was already peaced, and now we are using buckets of water during a drought in the fruitless attempt to keep it alive?
Not having any trouble thriving in these conditions are banana plants, which love the heat. Actually, at this point, it would make more sense to just turn the park into a banana grove rather than delude ourselves into the possibility of keeping the newly-planted grass alive.
What mastery will come next? Maybe the Service will fix all the broken water fountains at the start of winter!