Results tagged ‘ Irrigation ’

Our Nation’s Front Yard gets new Turf!


After a light morning rain the soil was perfect for laying sod on the National Mall yesterday.  The 50 ft long x  4 ft wide fescue/bluegrass rolls of sod went down without a hitch.    Probably some of the most beautiful fescue I have ever seen that came out of Tuckahoe sod farms.  Shortly after the first few rolls were place on Panel 33 in front of the capital they turned on the big eagle rainbird irrigation  heads and they performed wonderfully.   The irrigation and drian lines are placed about 4ft deep which is just below the tent stake line.

This day has been a long time coming and it wasn’t without a lot of planning.  The sod was laid on an engineered topsoil sand blend which will be a perfect medium for growing the grass and keeping it healthy.    The National Parks services and Trust for the national mall were also on hand overseeing the installation process.  The first panel  which is about 90,000sq ft will be completed today and in another few weeks we will start on panel 29.  Congrats to Clark construction there team on making this day finally come to fruition.

America’s Front Lawn is planning a Makeover


The National Mall is planning a much-needed renovation of a few of  the 30+ panels this year and the first phase is slated to begin late this summer.  www.nationalmall.org/nationalmall.php    What a great project and something ( Brickman‘s Sportsturf team) is excited to be a part of as the official turf consultant for the “Trust for the National Mall“.   Over 20 million people see the Mall every year.  The parks service issues around 3000 permits for multiple functions and one of the main complaints from people  is how it always looks.  Trying to compare this venue to anything else in the world is really difficult so we looked at every park and various large sports complex operations that appeared similar.    Keeping grass growing is tough in this transistion zone area …. much less trying to  keep it green with millions of people walking on it.    It’s a 3 pronged approach which includes renovating the lawn with better soils , drainage. and an irrigation system, managing the events a little differently and updating the maintenance operations.   The National Parks Service does an unbelievable job taking care of the mall with the resources they have.   With budget cuts and more people wanting to use the Mall it really is amazing what they achieve with so little. 

Sometimes when I talk to  people about the “Mall” in DC they really think I am talking about a shopping center.  Then I tell them its America’s front lawn and ….I get the AHA moment .  

There is a slate of turf folks involved in some capacity with this renovation including Dr. Peter Landshoot-Penn State,  Dr  Norm Hummel ,  Dr  Mike Goatley- Virginia Tech Turfgrass – Mike and his  folks are  working on a study regarding  turf protective coverings for events.  Steve LeGros  is helping with the fertility planning, etc…  All great turf people.

The renovation will involve removing existing soils, amending them,  adding drains and new irrigation and installing a few cisterns –  Each are 150’ x 34’ wide  x 10’tall.  250,000 gallons each and there are 2 in the 1st phase.   Completely irrigated turf areas with an automatic system and a full underdrainage system that will assist in collecting the rain water to fill the cisterns  .  Seed selection was fun –  After a full review of local seed varieties Peter and Steve narrowed down a 4 way blend of grass seed that everyone agreed on.  30% Wolfpack 2 Tall fescue, 30% Firenza Tall fescue, 30% Turbo Tall fescue and 10% P-105 Kentucky Bluegrass      HOK is the Architect of record.

More to come as this project develops.

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