Didn't anyone have a shovel or a spading fork? Hadn't anyone told them about the 'lasagna gardening' approach to smothering the grass with layers of cardboard or newspaper, then piling it high with manure and compost?
I mean, I know it's a largely symbolic move, but that's just it. This is a symbol of some damn hard work. Fruitless, pointless, discouraging labor.
Well, I hope they had fun doing it, and I hope somebody came along a few minutes later with some real tools and finished the job.