It's April again, and Commencement week isn't too for off--and that means Harvard's crews are out in force to reseed and refertilize the weary grass of the Yard.
Although Harvard lawns are given fertilizer three times a year, the extensive work being done this week on the Yard is just a once-a-year treat, said Paul J. Virlemaire, Facilities Maintenance's supervisor of grounds.
By the time 10,000 men and women of Harvard come to spill drinks and stomp all over the Yard. Viriemaire and his crew will have distributed hundreds of pounds of grass seed on the Yard in an effort to pre-empt the damage. And after the alumni have wreaked their havoc, Facilties Maintenance will return and distribute some 80 pounds of fertilizer.
According to Viriemaire, keeping the Yard and other University lawns green means fighting all the "enemies of grass"--everything from the thousands of people who walk through the yard every day to the local
Pigeons, though, do the most damage to the YArd, Virlemaire said. Although "nothing stops the birds," a mixture of fertalizer, mulch and seed and water slows down the consumptions of the seed pigeons sack, he said. Another thing that helps is when Virlemaire and his crew chase away hungry flocks, he added.