Why is the Lawn Closed?

We want the lawn to look like this all the time. We haven't always been as good at maintaining the lawn as we are now.
For example, this was the lawn in May 2003...
...and this was the lawn by August 2003. The lawn loses much of its charm when it's dry, patchy, and brown!

One of the best features of the park is our emerald green lawn. This season, we’ve kept you updated on the lawn’s life cycle, from installation to opening day. In this post, we explain why the lawn is sometimes closed. It can be confusing to see the lawn closed on a gorgeous day, but rest assured it’s not without good reason!

We want the lawn to stay soft and green all summer long. If we don’t protect the lawn when it is vulnerable, it will not withstand the demands of the summer and will die within a few weeks—it is, after all, a living organism. We’ve seen this kind of lawn deterioration firsthand in previous summers and it is not pretty.

Keeping in mind that the lawn is best when it’s green, here are the circumstances under which we close the lawn:

1) When it’s wet. Moisture from rainfall and sprinklers softens the lawn, making it more delicate and prone to ripping under thousands of feet. We keep the lawn closed until it has dried sufficiently to withstand use by our visitors.

2) For maintenance. The lawn occasionally needs to be mowed or aerated, two tasks that are much easier to do (and safer—think of the heavy machinery involved!) without guests on the lawn. When the lawn is fertilized, the chemicals need time to be absorbed into the ground—not the bottom of your shoes!

3) For rest. Before and after large weekly events like the HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival, which can draw over 10,000 people, the lawn is closed. This helps the lawn be resilient all summer and recover faster from times of heavy use. Just imagine how you’d feel if you didn’t sleep for weeks!

If you want to know if the lawn is open or closed, visit our homepage. On the top left below “Today in the Park,” you’ll see the lawn message that tells you whether the lawn is open or closed. If you want a high-tech solution, check out our webcam—you can see the lawn in real time (and pick out your spot!).

We hope this post takes the mystery out of the lawn schedule!

#MeetMeOnTheLawn