Excellence in Government Indeed


The last word on the organic lawn care demonstration on the National Mall was that it was destroyed by the
George Washington U. Class of 2008 but oh, the story didn’t end there. According to this item in the Washington City Paper, Park Service officials are exonerating the grads and blaming a group called – get this – The Council for Excellence in Government, which parked their butts on the lush, brand-new organically grown lawn for 10 days or so.

Thanks to City Paper for assigning reporter Ruth Samuelson to get to the bottom of the story (on a tip from Kathy Jentz).  It includes a great aerial shot of the organic lawn in all its glory (the panels closest to the Capitol).  Til the next installment.


  1. The highly underfunded Park Service is really under pressure on the Mall. Why they don’t have proper drainage and care techniques is beyond me. The grassy areas should be designed with innovative methods to handle the abuse they lawn receives. For events, even a simple riser that held the floor of the even 3 inches off the turf would help.

    There has not been priority funding for the Park Service for all National Parks for years now. It’s their responsibility, but the country’s funding priorities have been elsewhere.

  2. The level of activity has increased exponentially since I moved down here in 1990. That, compounded with longer and more frequent droughts and I’m amazed we have grass at all.

    You show me where there’s a lawn that withstands thousands of tramping feet, tents, stands, chairs, dogs, softball games, protests, displays, etc… every single day for 9 months out of the year. I’d like to see it. Then, I’d like to know how much is spent to maintain it.

    The tone is that we, as a government, society, whatever, are too cheap to fix it. I think it’s highy naive to think that we can use a lawn like a carpet.

    DC is not the only locality to struggle with public lawns. Many of the surrounding suburbs have begun to replace their grass soccer fields with artificial turf. The maintenance expenses are just too much for school systems and counties to handle.

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