Video: Turf Management in Cultural Landscapes

Park Cultural Landscapes Program

Updated Cultural Landscapes

Introduction to Turf Management in Cultural Landscapes

These videos provide an introduction to cultural landscapes, a history of turfgrass in the United States, and an overview of turf management in cultural landscapes.

Lawns have not always appeared as the neatly-mowed, uniform green carpets that are often associated with the term today. Maintaining turfgrass in cultural landscapes can play an important role in illustrating historic character, showing why the landscape is important, and demonstrating what purpose(s) the landscape is intended to serve.

With an understanding of the history of turfgrass in the United States and the management goals of a cultural landscape, cultural resource and facilities managers can set expectations and objectives for the management of turfgrass in cultural landscapes. The knowledge and skill of field staff are also vital components in this preservation process.


After watching these videos, viewers will be able to:

  • Understand the NPS definition of cultural landscape
  • Describe a brief history of turfgrass in the United States
  • Consider how historic preservation research, analysis, and planning help guide turfgrass management
  • Identify several examples of turfgrass management at park cultural landscapes
  • Recognize how turf management can help reflect the historic character of a cultural landscape

Part I: Defining Cultural Landscapes and the History of Turfgrass

This video contains an introduction to the NPS definition to cultural landscapes and an overview of periods in the history of turfgrass in the United States, from 1830 to the present.


Part II: Using Research, Analysis, and Planning

This video describes how historic preservation research, analysis, and planning can be used to guide turfgrass management decisions in cultural landscapes. It includes several prominent examples from NPS units.

Additional Information

Discover more on the subject of NPS Turf Management 

This video was produced with material from the NPS Sustainable Turfgrass Management Workshop, coordinated by the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation and the WASO IPM Program and held at Independence National Historical Park in August, 2014.

Can’t find what you need? Contact the Park Cultural Landscapes Program via email or the program lead in your region.

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