A bit over a year ago, the DC police finally evicted Occupy DC from its illegal encampment in McPherson Square. The public park, which had been re-sodded thanks to a $400,000 stimulus grant, was wrecked. Clean sidewalks and new grass had become trash heaps and churned mud. Finally, though, McPherson Square is habitable again.
Fences went up around McPherson Square’s grass plots last April as the National Park Service started to undo the damage created by months of soggy tents and demonstrators. Though some of the former Occupiers volunteered to help with the repairs, the Park Service said it would handle the restoration itself. Re-sodding the park was expected to cost $7,000.
And while thin bollards still surround a few flowerbeds waiting to bloom, McPherson is back to its normal, sparsely used self. The grass is regrown, and a bit shaggy in places, with yellowing splotches in places, though that could be an effect of the winter sun.
Either way, you can now run around the grass without the risk of barreling into a messy tent.
I wonder if the city will bill Occupy DC for the cost of the restoration. The group reportedly raised $16,000 in three weeks and regularly received donations of food and equipment. The SEIU also kicked in $4,000 a month to rent office space just blocks from the White House after their eviction. I’m sure they could afford to pay for the damage they did rather than have it paid for by the rest of the 99 percent who live in the city.