National Park Service Completes Phase 1 Turf Restoration at Lincoln and Stanton Parks

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Date: July 1, 2015
Contact: Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles, 202-619-7177

WASHINGTON— The National Park Service has completed the first phase of turf restoration at Lincoln and Stanton Parks, and will open the newly refurbished grassy areas in time for the July 4th holiday. The turf restoration is part of a long-term park commitment, with the end goal of healthy, beautiful parks that are open for the community to enjoy. The new, hardier turf should hold up better than the previous grass reducing the frequency and length of future closures, but the NPS needs help from community members to keep the grass healthy.

The NPS used a new, science-based approach for this project to get the soil and grass root system to a healthy baseline from which we will continue to improve with ongoing care and community support. An NPS turf management specialist developed a special seed mixture and germination timeline specifically for the conditions at Lincoln and Stanton Parks with the goal of creating a dense lawn that will remain healthy at high temperatures and low soil moisture, while also being able to better tolerate heavy use.

Future management practices will continue to include temporary closures to promote the recovery of soils and grass, aeration twice per year and reseeding once per year. To keep the new turf as healthy as possible, park staff will keep the grass blades 3 to 5 inches in length generally mowing every 7 to 10 days. Park staff will monitor the condition of the turf and implement temporary, short-term, closures to allow damaged areas to rest. Despite using best practices and a seed blend developed for the unique condition of these parks, the project will only be successful if park users respect closures and keep pets on leash.

To promote safe access for all those who enjoy the parks, including small children, it is important that pet owners follow leash laws at all times. Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations requires that pets be restrained at all times on a leash no longer than 6 feet. DC Department of Parks and Recreation maintains dog parks in the city. The nearest off-leash dog park is Kingsman Field Dog Park, located at D Street NE & Tennessee Ave NE.

This fall the NPS will determine which grass panels will be rehabilitated next using the same practices. Areas selected for turf restoration will be closed from mid-September 2015 through June 2016 to allow for proper seed germination and a strong root system to develop.

The National Park Service remains mindful of the daily recreation that takes place in the parks and values the variety of uses Lincoln and Stanton Parks receive by all facets of the community. The portions of the parks chosen for restoration are strategically selected to allow for normal activity to continue in the parks.

To learn more read some frequently asked questions about the turf projects visit

Last updated: July 1, 2015

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