Less than 24 hours after student protesters vacated Massachusetts Hall, Landscape Services supervisor Paul Smith and his team were spraying a thick carpet of grass seed and mulch where the protesters’ tent city had been.
Smith hopes that this hydro-seeding along with stepped-up watering and increased vigilance in keeping people off the lawn will make the the expanse of land between Mass. Hall and University Hall (called the “Old Yard”) lush and green by Commencement on June 7. The Yard was seeded prior to the protests, but the 70-plus tents that occupied the Old Yard for three weeks compacted the seed and inhibited its growth. “We’re trying to beat the clock,” said Smith, estimating that the lawn already behind schedule due to this spring’s late snow cover lost two weeks of growing time because of the protests.
Apart from this second round of seeding, however, Smith doesn’t anticipate any additional work for Landscape Services due to the protests. “It’s more up to the environment and time,” he said, adding that he’s hoping for some cool, rainy days ahead. And if Mother Nature fails him, it won’t be the first time Smith uses the landscapers’ secret weapon: sod.