Report: Occupy DC ruined stimulus-funded park

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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The stimulus-funded Washington, D.C. park taken over by Occupy protesters in late 2011 and early 2012 is finally starting to get back on its feet thanks to a taxpayer-funded re-sodding job by the National Park Service.

“Occupy D.C.’s nearly five-month presence in McPherson Square left the park a brown, sodden mess not long after it received a $400,000 renovation paid for by the 2009 federal stimulus act,” according to dcist.com.

The National Park Service began re-sodding McPherson Square at taxpayer expense in April 2012, reportedly rejecting offers from some of the park’s Occupiers to help with the effort. The re-sodding was expected to cost $7,000.

“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,” dcist.com reports.

The National Park Service received $750 million in President Obama’s 2009 stimulus package. Aside from the $400,000 spent on McPherson Square prior to its symbolic occupation, it is unclear how many other stimulus-funded parks were damaged by the high-profile nationwide protests.

The federal government this week refused the federal government’s request to dismiss an Occupy DC protester’s lawsuit against the Interior Deparment. The protester claims that his First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendment rights were violated when the National Park Service cleared demonstrators from stimulus-funded McPherson Square in February 2012.

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Patrick Howley