Statement from Washington Square Park Conservancy, which does not run or manage Washington Square Park and is not supposed to be involved to this degree beyond raising funds, on “lawn restoration” project:
The lawns are integral to the vibrancy of the Park, but keeping them lush and green is a challenge. Due to heavy use and ample shade it can take awhile for grass to grow and recover from damage. The lawns get churned up, especially when they’re muddy after rain, and frequent use compacts the dirt making it difficult for anything to grow. Thankfully, the horticulture team knows just how to manage things so every lawn has a chance to thrive. This summer the NE lawn by the Big Playground and the SW lawn by Chess Plaza will reopen after nearly a year. When those open, the SE Lawn by Garibaldi Plaza will be fenced off for one year to allow it to recover from heavy use.
In addition to the usual lawn maintenance, we will finally begin work on the lawn closest to the NW entrance. Thanks to a generous grant from Dalio Philanthropies, the largest lawn in the Park will receive critical repairs. There is a leaking pipe in the middle of the lawn, as well as a depression in the ground, which is causing pooling, flooding and damage. After the pipe is repaired and the lawn is regraded, reseeded, and resodded new ground hydrants and sprinkler heads will be fitted. The lawn will remain closed for 2 months while the new grass seed takes root and new sod knits together. After 2 months, the sunny portions of the lawn closest to the Arch will be opened, although the shady sections on the western edge will need to remain closed for a longer period.
It isn’t easy keeping Washington Square Park green, but the effort is certainly worth it. As some of the only open green space in Greenwich Village, making sure that the lawns stay healthy is a top priority!
Statement from private Washington Square Park Conservancy here.