Monday, January 7, 2008

The Not-So-Great Lawn

Have you noticed that over the last couple of weeks our one patch of (real) grass has turned into a mud pit? The one vestige of natural beauty in our brick and asphalt campus is being destroyed!

Here's whats going on: every time someone decides to take a shortcut across the Danciger Quadrangle, he or she is contributing to something called soil compaction, which is slowly killing all the grass and increasing runoff. Hence, what used to be lawn becomes a mass of muddy footprints.

Here's what we can do about it:
1. Put up a “Don't walk on the grass” sign. This is a last resort because I think it goes against why the grass is there in the first place; grass is nature's carpet. We're dealing with a classic meitzar shehechziku bo rabim (BT Bava Batra 99b-100a).
2. Put up a “Please don't use the grass as a shortcut” sign. I know this one sounds a little unusual, but I think it can work. Use the lawn when you want to lie down and read a book, not when you're late for minyan.
3. Have a gardener come in and take care of it. I don't know the exact science, but the football stadiums don't seem to have any trouble keeping their fields nice and green even this late into the year.

If we ever want our grass to be greener than the other side's, we need to have grass in the first place. For now, spend the extra second-and-a-half and go around.

7 comments:

Tzvi F. said...

Perhaps we should be more concerned with the MTA football games that take place there than with occasional short-cut takers.

Ibn Avraham said...

It's a tough situation, obviously we want the grass to be used.
The real question is if YU has someone on staff who takes care of the lawn. I'm not here 24/7 but I haven't seen a gardener the whole year. Is there an attempt?

ecs said...

It's always this way in the winter. Don't worry, the grass will be back in the spring, I don't think it's a big deal.

Ezzie said...

You haven't seen most of the fields in the Midwest this time of year. Check out pics of Heinz Field in Pittsburgh... mud city. The nice ones use FieldTurf. I don't think YU is paying for that...

Jew from the Desert said...

Actually, every spring (right after the snowy season) workers come in and re-seed the entire field.

Last year I was distressed about the grass situation myself, but with patience and careful observation, I came to see workers come, tear up the dirt (decompaction!), seed the field, put up a short (but visible and apparent) "fence" and watch the grass grow all over again. And then our lawn was greener once more.

Thus the cycle of life continues.

josh j said...

It's true that they block it off and reseed it in the spring, but I don't think that really matters. It would be nice to have some real grass year round. And I think it's definitely the shortcutters...there's a diagonal strip of dead grass from corner to corner...

freilich said...

I always thought that there is only one real way to handle the situation. Being as it is that I use the shortcut myself, obviously I am biased, yet I think there is one much more practical approach to the situation that you have missed.
I think the best method to make the grass look good is to just make the path officially. However, while doing this, it is still possible to make it look nice. Put down a path with lots of small stones. Border it on both sides with large rocks or flowers. Maybe even put down some saplings around this path, an excellent way to stop the MTA football games, b'derech agav. We even know the best place to put the path, as the earth is already compacted. Sure it won't be a completely rectangular area of clear grass, but it can definitely look very visually appealing if a landscaper creates it. It will still have plenty of room if one wants to lie down and read. And YU guys wouldn't have to feel guilty about saving 30 seconds of their lives six times a day.