The grass is always greener (when it’s cordoned off with a chain)

Not far from my home there’s a popular splash pad. With this summer’s particularly high temperatures, it has been packed with kids pretty much everyday.

But durning a recent lunch break, I noticed something odd: the lawn next to the splash pad apparently is off limits.


I’ve walked by a few other times and saw the same thing.

What’s going on here? Why isn’t this lawn, which is costing the outdoor mall money to maintain, available for use?

The only real answer I can come up with is tradition; people like to have grass but sometimes seem to feel it should be looked at and not used, lest it become slightly un-manicured looking. It actually reminds me a lot of this grass median, which I argued was solving an entirely invented problem in Saratoga Springs.

Except that this particular lawn is one of the few that has a good reason to exist. People love this spot, and if they could lay out on the grass they surely would.

This reminds me of too much of our city infrastructure, which seems to be designed with some person’s view of aesthetics, not people, in mind. The sad thing here is that unlike so many empty spots in our cities, this isn’t a bad space; a chain is actually required to keep people out.



  1. Alan Peters

    This bugs me so much! If you can’t keep the grass alive without roping it off and making it unusable, you shouldn’t have grass at all.
    BYU seemed to do this a lot. I always felt that if people are walking on an area of grass enough to kill it, that area should probably just be sidewalk.

    • jimmycdii

      yeah, I remember that also with BYU. What really doesn’t make sense is that this costs these people money. I don’t know why they’re just throwing their own cash down the drain.

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