of America's most renowned public lawns reflect
America's most enduring characteristics: power and
influence, pride and competitive spirit, freedom
and simplicity. For the third consecutive year, 10
outstanding green spaces have been named to the Briggs
and Stratton Top Ten Lawns List:
Gate Park, San Francisco
Hotel, Mackinac Island
Lawn" at the University of Virginia
and Clark Interpretive Center
Plantation and Its Gardens
States Naval Academy
and Stratton Top Ten Lawns List annually
recognizes outstanding public lawns across the
country. From national landmarks to outdoor
American icons, these plots of grass are an
undeniable part of our heritage and culture.
to "The American Lawn", edited by
Georges Teysott, public lawns have been a key
fixture in the United States for at least two
centuries, "as a symbol of the colonial past
and as a constant ideal in the American-built
environment. Thus, in America, the open grass plot
within the village center embodied a sense of
community and self-governance."
Top Ten Lawn List continues to exemplify the best
American lawns," said George R. Thompson,
vice president, corporate communications and
community relations at Briggs & Stratton.
"The 2000 list is an incredible collection of
landscapes that are integral components of some of
our most cherished national icons."
of the Top Ten Lawns was evaluated on the
following criteria: overall appearance; lawn and
garden maintenance and care philosophy; use of
green space to enhance or complement the look;
visual appeal; and significance of the site.
Candidates were identified by turf management
professionals, horticulturalists, landscape
designers and lawn and garden experts, who
nominated noteworthy lawns.
in alphabetical order, here's a closer look at the
Top Ten Lawns:
Alamo, San Antonio
Alamo is a living tribute to the heroes who died
during the battle for Texas' independence. A
manicured landscape consisting of zoysia grass is
regularly maintained to appeal to the 2 1/2
million visitors that come to the Alamo each year.
The lawn and gardens surrounding this historic
battle site are designed to provide an oasis-like
setting amidst downtown San Antonio. To add even
more interest, the grounds are broken up into
Field, Cooperstown, N.Y.
Field, located just one block from the National
Baseball Hall of Fame Museum, is situated on a
former cow pasture where baseball was first played
more than a century ago. The Cooperstown Village
Board of Trustees transformed the pasture into a
ballpark of major-league specifications in 1939,
and it now seats approximately 10,000 fans. The
field is made up of two acres of blue grass/rye
grass mixture and is mowed in a
five-direction pattern to obtain a striped
Eastman House, Rochester, N.Y.
Eastman, founder of the Eastman Kodak Company,
lavished great care and attention toward the
design, construction, expansion and refinement of
his private urban estate, including the house and
gardens. Much of the historic house, its grounds,
and principal gardens at this current-day
photography museum have been carefully restored to
their original appearance. A simple,
pesticide-free lawn -- a variety of bent, blue and
fescue grasses -- plays an integral role in the
overall design and visitor experience.
International Plaza, Atlanta
of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, the Georgia
International Plaza is also a welcome mat for
visitors to three of the city's busiest
destination spots, the Georgia World Congress
Center, the Georgia Dome and Phillips Arena. The
Plaza's five lush acres of Emerald Green Zoysia
grass are situated in downtown Atlanta atop a
seven-story parking deck. The unique location
poses a challenge for turf management. Due to the
weight constraints on the parking deck, a
lightweight soilless planting medium was used to
promote drainage and minimize water accumulation.
Moisture and nutrient levels are measured
constantly, and a hybrid cultural program was
developed to maximize health benefits and minimize
disease and pests.
Gate Park, San Francisco
Gate Park, one of the largest man-made parks in
the world, was developed in 1870 on a site
consisting mainly of sand dunes. The 1.017-acre
area of lush landscape that characterizes the park
today bears little resemblance to its former
state. Currently, Golden Gate Park is a pleasure
ground of a thousand wonders including dog parks,
football, baseball and soccer fields, running
trails and picnic areas. At times, it even serves
as an outside stage for plays. In the open area,
stretching over many acres, is a myriad of
beautiful blooms. Trees and shrubs of many
varieties also add beauty to the scene.
Hotel, Mackinac Island, Mich.
crown jewel of pristine Mackinac Island, Grand
Hotel is the world's largest summer hotel and
national historic landmarkthat dates to the late
1800s. The hotel's expansive front lawn, called
the Tea Garden, has been the center of activity
for more than 100 years. Today, the Tea Garden,
which is made up of Kentucky bluegrass and
perennial ryegrass, is used for croquet and bocci
ball games. It is also the site of a children's
carnival, outdoor jazz performances and countless
wedding ceremonies. The Grand Hotel's famous front
porch includes 2,000 geraniums in 260 planting
Lawn" at University of Virginia,
than than just the University's front yard, the
historic Lawn on the Academical Village at the
University of Virginia is one of the most
important green spaces in the country. Designed
and built by Thomas Jefferson between 1817 and
1826, The Lawn still looks and functions much as
it did in Jefferson's era -- as a vital community
organized around learning. The Lawn, measuring 700
feet in length and 200 feet in width, is built in
four terraces and includes 10 unigue pavilions,
two one-story Tuscan colonnades spanning the long
sides, and is anchored by the Rotunda, Jefferson's
final project completed in 1826, the year he did.
A field blend of hardy perennial rye grasses,
known for quick green-up and the ability to take
abuse, ensures that the expansive Lawn will
provide a lush green backdrop for campus visitors.
and Clark Interpretive Center, Great Falls, Mont.
Interpretive Center is a world-class facility
interpreting the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Interest in the expedition extends to the native
plants the two explorers collected, studied and
propagated. The native landscape that was thriving
during Lewis and Clark's time has been
re-established to give visitors a more realistic
and complete experience. Native grasses, including
Western Wheatgrass, plus various wildflowers and
shrubs have returned the landscape to how it
appeared nearly 200 years ago. Minimal turf
management is necessary because natural landscapes
are mostly self-sustainable. Volunteers and staff
are called upon to hand pull weeds to protect the
Plantation and Its Gardens, Charleston, S.C.
Plantation has been the original ancestral home of
the Drayton family for more than three centuries,
and has played important roles in early colonial
settlement and the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.
Its lawns are many and diverse, and include
pasture areas on which animals graze as well as
highly-manicured, formal landscapes. Its green
canvas of primarily St. Augustine and centipede
grasses is overseeded with domestic rye for the
States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md.
in 1845, the Naval Academy is set on 338 acres of
land between the south bank of the Severn River
and historic downtown Annapolis. The Yard, as the
campus is called, features tree-lined brick walks,
French Renaissance and contemporary architectural
and scenic vistas of the Chesapeake Bay. The
Bancroft Hall dormitory complex, the Naval Academy
Chapel and other 90-year-old building make the
academy a National Historic Site. Naval Academy
midshipmen perform on the expansive fescue
landscape for formations and parades. Athletic
events and a variety of other ceremonies also take
place outside, making the outdoor environment an
integral part of the academy.