Restoration of the National Mall Turf Reaches Major Milestone

Five year turf project nears completion

The restoration of the turf on the National Mall neared completion on Wednesday, August 3, when the final roll of new sod was laid. This marked the last of more than 805,000 square feet of sod (18.5 acres) laid down as part of the five-year, $40 million restoration of the turf on the National Mall.

The sod itself was grown at and shipped from Tuckahoe Turf Farm in Hammonton, N.J., which grows turf for golf courses, college campuses and sports stadiums, including Nationals Park and Camden Yards in Baltimore.

Begun in 2011 and completed in phases between 3rd Street and 14th Street, the turf restoration project has included excavation and removal of 4-5’ of damaged soil; installation of irrigation drainage and four 250,000 gallon cisterns to collect and allow reuse of up to a million gallons of storm water for irrigation of the turf; installation of a compaction-resistant engineered soil, similar in composition and quality to that found on athletic fields; regarding the panels to improve drainage, and sodding with advanced varieties of tall fescue and bluegrass.

Although the laying of the sod marks substantial completion of the project, the area will remain closed to allow the sod to take root, and for the replacement of walkways, benches and other infrastructure that was removed from the panels during the construction.  The work will be completed and the panels will open to public use prior to the January, 2017 presidential inauguration.

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