How will the National Park Service protect the new grass panels on the National Mall during Inauguration?
We are glad you asked! This year, the National Park Service (NPS) completed a project to rebuild several of the grass panels on the National Mall, one of the most prominent historic landscapes in Washington, DC. The project included installing handicap accessible granite curbs, engineered soil to resist soil compaction, re-grading grass panels to improve drainage, the installation of drains and large underground cisterns to collect storm water, a new irrigation system installed four feet below the surface, and durable varieties of turf. The new work has been designed to be more sustainable under the high levels of foot traffic and large scale events that take place on the Mall. The collection of storm water for irrigation will reduce the use of potable water and help improve regional water quality.
Recognizing that this historic landscape will continue to be heavily used, National Mall and Memorial Parks has hired a Turf Manager, the first position of its kind for the National Park Service. We are excited to have him on board.
During this Inauguration the new turf will be protected from damage by laying down protective panels from 3rd to 8th streets. Each panel is elevated above the grass, held up by a few round feet which distribute the weight evenly. The panels will cover the Mall for about five days.