Over the last several years, many of us have been fretting about the condition of the lawn at Cianfrani Park. It seems like it either has large spots of brown or the grass is so high it is up to your knees. Last year we were very proud to accept the first prize in the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society’s City Garden Contest. The gardens are a result of very hard work on the part of our dedicated volunteer neighbors. However, the grass has been continued to be problematic.
Last summer, after our continued complaints to the city about the mowing situation, we were paid a surprise visit by a landscape technician from the newly consolidated Department of Parks and Recreation. With the consolidation of Fairmount Park and the Philadelphia Department of Recreation, we have benefitted by receiving some new services, including people who care about having parks with nice lawns. After taking a sample and sending it for analysis, it seems that he discovered the cause of our lawn problems. We have a very difficult weed called Goose Grass which has overtaken the good grass and seems to grow at a rate of up to an inch a day. The city’s biweekly mowing schedule is not going to handle that kind of growth.
To remedy this situation the city is going to come in to spray the lawn to eliminate the Goose Grass before it has a chance to start growing this year. The spray is not a poison, but a “pre emergent treatment” that prevents weed seeds from sprouting and multiplying. It will not kill anything that is already growing. Following the spraying we will be roping off all of the lawns for a week or so and strongly suggest that you keep children and dogs off of the lawns. The protection for a week is only to allow the treatment to work efficiently and undisturbed. We have been told it should not be harmful to pets or people. Signs will be posted.
The second stage of this recovery process will occur in the fall which is the best time to plant new grass. We hope to have a contractor come in at that time to aerate the entire lawn to loosen the compacted dirt so that new seed may go in. It will take the winter for it to establish roots and hopefully next summer we will have the beautiful lawn we have always wanted.
We ask for your patience as we go through this process. We hope you will be happy with the results.
-Friends of Cianfrani Park