I Wonder: Why is Simplot hill covered in brown spots?

I Wonder: Why is Simplot hill covered in brown spots?

Credit: Deren Martinez/KTVB

The grass on Simplot hill is struggling under the summer heat.

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by Don Day KTVB.COM

Bio | Email | Follow: @DonLDay

KTVB.COM

Posted on July 30, 2009 at 2:30 PM

Updated Sunday, Oct 25 at 3:23 PM

I wonder why the Simplot Hill is covered in brown spots

-XA by phone

BOISE - It's a signature of the City of Trees: the large green foothill. Late billionaire JR Simplot purchased the hill near Bogus Basin Road, built a large house on top, landscaped the hillside in green grass and planted a large American flag at the top.

For many lawns across the area, summer can be brutal on the grass. Simplot hill isn't immune - and much of that lush green lawn has turned to brittle brown straw.

Before his death, Simplot deeded the home to the State of Idaho for use as a governor's mansion, a plan that has not yet come to fruition.

But much of the lawn is not controlled by the state - and is instead owned by the JR Simplot Company. Spokesperson David Cuoio says groundskeepers decided to try something new with the lawn this year -- and the technique didn't have the best results.

"For many many years the company and employees taking care of the grounds have been doing it a similar way," he said. "We've tried a few new things that haven't worked out particularly well, and that's the reason it looks the way it does right now."

So what'd they try? Cuoio wouldn't elaborate - but says landscapers think they are back on track.

"We have adjusted the technique and hopefully in the very near future the grass will be green again," he said. "It should be looking better before the season ends and we don't anticipate it being a problem next year."

He says the company puts a priority on keeping the grassy green giant in top condition.

"Certainly we want the grass to look as good as it possibly can," Cuoio said. "We regret the glitch in the system that has led to the current appearance, and we're doing everything we can to go back to the standards that people have come to expect."

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