The grass is always greener – except at Echo Park Lake

Yellowed lawn taped off as worker adjusts irrigation system.

The lawns were emerald green shortly before the park reopened in late June.

Only a few weeks after Echo Park Lake reopened to the public after a costly clean up, Mike Dorey was surprised to find the lawns surrounding the lake had begun to yellow and turn brown. “All the new sod that was so beautiful when Echo Park opened is now dead or dying,” Dorey said in a message to The Eastsider.

Many other park visitors have also remarked on the yellowing grass as well as muddy spots and sprinklers that douse visitors in the middle of the day. Recently, a large section of yellowed grass on the north end of the lake was taped off.  What’s going on?

Those dry and wet spots are primarily the result of problems with the park’s new irrigation system, said Cora Jackson-Fossett, Director of Public Affairs for the Department of Public Works.  “We are taking steps to correct the problem.”

Those steps include modifying the irrigation system, applying fertilizer throughout the park and aerating the compacted soil by punching small holes into the ground, she said. If that does not work, the grass might have to be re-seeded or new sod installed, she said.

The park is still under warranty, so to speak, which means the contractor in charge of its clean up will also be responsible for getting the irrigation system and lawns back into shape.

“Within in the next couple of weeks, we are going to analyze the conditions of the grass and what other corrective measures might be needed,” said Jackson-Fossett. “We definitely need to get it in shape so that people can enjoy it.”

Compacted soil is be aerated as part of repairs to the park’s lawns.


  1. There was the exact same problem at the Silver Lake meadow when it opened, it seemed to take a very long time to figure out, but it’s beautiful now. I wonder if there is any communication between the two? It seems the guy in charge at SLM could help figure it out.

    • I personally think they should shut off certain quarters or sections, so therefore the sod has a chance to take before people start walking on it. Also, water the lawn when the sun goes down, that way it doesn’t burn during the day, and turns all ugly and yellow.
      Just saying though,

  2. Rodriguez hernandez

    Turn the sprinklers down dumba$$

  3. Morons! You finish underbudget after 2.5 yrs and you eff up the sprinkler system? So basic! This was very disappointing the first week I noticed it, I told my friends to come see the lake before it goes to sh**…too bad it already has, that grass is so bad!

  4. I’ve lived here a long time, everyone.

    I can remember how green the grass was before all these hipsters showed up and ruined it.

    • How do ‘hipsters’ ruin the grass?

      • Hipsters are to blame for all of life’s problems. See all previous blog posts for reference.

        • Ya, hipsters and gang bangers, right? Everyone has to blame someone around here.

        • What’s the definition of an ‘hipster’ exactly?

          Please, enlighten me.

          • *Johan Johanson, pls enlighten me.

          • According to Eastsider blog post replies, A hipster is almost always white, originally from some horrible place like Kansas or Oklahoma or the WESTSIDE, is either on their parents trust fund or dirt poor or on their parents trust fund pretending to be poor or they’re not poor at all and drive a Range Rover, wears skinny jeans, does not work or works enough to raise property values by buying flipped houses therefore ruining the fabric of the neighborhood, drinks PBR or or single malt scotch or craft beer, is vegan or not vegan, is between 17 and 35, and came to the east side to give sad, angry blog readers a catch all target for their misplaced frustrations.

      • It is an established fact that urine from PBR is acidic and kills grass. You can look it up.

    • Bravo sir. Bravo.
      Also: people: recognize a good joke when you see one. Take it easy, fleaman. (aka lighten up, Francis)

      • Johan’s reply was obviously sarcastic, though the original post I replied to gave no hint of it.

        Skinny Jeans = Hipster: I always wondered about that one. I mean, practically every kid at Marshall wears skinny jeans, so are they all hipsters? All 3,000+ of them?

        Whatta ’bout the Metal heads (the ones that wore skinny jeans in the ’80’s and the current ones today)??

        Perhaps it’s an age thing, if you’re a teen in skinny jeans you’re automatically hipster exempt, but once you hit 20 you’ve matured into a hipster!
        And if you’re a metal head w/skinny jeans you’re hipster exempt at any age!

        I can’t help but think of all hipster ‘rules’ and how, well, there aren’t really any.

        • **Ok, looks like I missed the obvious sarcasm when I responded to Johan’s 2nd reply.

          Little bit of face/palm moment for me I guess.

  5. glendale eastsider

    I happened to be there the week after EPL opened and saw contractors working on the irrigation system. I asked one of the supervisors why the lawn was already turning brown and dead looking. This was the area by the boathouse and the steps there. I was told that the grass was getting trampled by all the visitors and they were thinking of changing to a grass that would better stand up to heavy use. I don’t think anyone predicted how popular the park would be again.

  6. The gang injunction will resolve this issue.

  7. The gang injunction will resolve this issue.

  8. They planted too early. They should have waited until the fall. Grass needs a few years to grow deep roots. Until then you need frequent water to keep it from drying out in the summer months. Additionally, the roots need time before the grass is trampled. Doesn’t sound like they planned this one out very well.

    • You think that’s bad planning, you should of been there at the meetings. Every person on the board didn’t know wtf they were talking about. I love it, tax payers money down the drain. Wait until the 2 year warranty runs out and see if park&recs will have the money to keep up with the lakes already amounting issues…

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