Grass in Chicago's Grant Park fields destroyed after Lollapalooza rains

Grass in Chicago's Grant Park fields destroyed after Lollapalooza rains

Chicago’s Grant Park needs a $266,000 landscape repair job.

According to the Chicago Park District, that was the amount of lawn damage left behind after this year's Lollapalooza music festival. Occasional rains soaked parts of the 325-acre park over the three-day event, destroying dozens of acres of grass.

Areas of the park are still closed, nearly two weeks after more than 300,000 concert-goers filed through the gates, the park district said. The majority of the damage to grass was done at Hutchinson Field, which is home to the headlining stage. That section of the park is at a lower elevation, collects more water and has difficulties draining, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Repairing the damaged turf on the park grounds will require laying new sod and grass seed, replacing soil and lawn aeration.

The lawn repairs will begin this week, and all that extensive lawn work to re-grow the grass will be the financial responsibility of Lollapalooza promoter C3 Presents. 

“While we expect the repairs to happen quickly, it takes time for sod/seed to take root ensuring the lifespan of good grass, and we respectfully ask for patience to ensure that Grant Park is restored to, or improved from, its pre-festival condition,” the Park District said in a media release.

Fixing your own grass problems

Like any homeowner who's installed sod or planted new grass seed, the Chicago Park District realizes that doing the job properly isn’t easy and takes time.

Need to re-grow grass in your own yard? Here’s what you should know before starting — or hiring a lawn service to start — any big lawn project:

  • Test your soil. Know the mineral content of your soil, which will help to determine the proper kind of sod or seed to put in your lawn
  • Improve your soil. Add a layer of compost or top soil before laying down sod or grass seed. This creates the perfect environment for new grass roots to take hold.
  • Choose the right product. If your area has a lot of sunlight, it’s probably best to lay sod. Formulated blends of grass seed can grow just fine with less sunlight.
  • Water, water, water. The key to any successful grass project is consistent watering. Sod should be watered every day for several weeks to allow the roots to take hold. Grass seed can be watered less often, but consistency is key.

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