Maybe because the massive Mormon temple on Santa Monica Boulevard in Westwood doesn't allow non-members inside, people really pay attention to what's going on on the outside (also because it's enormous and eye-catching). The expansive, green lawn between the temple and the street is hard to miss, so when the grass turned a dry, dusty brown, passersby were quick to notice the drastic change. The LA Times says groundskeepers for the 13-acre site stopped watering the grass about a month ago, in an effort to cut back on water consumption in the wake of statewide cutbacks on water use in these severely droughty times. But it sounds like the temple's dry spell might end soon.
Since the grass is all dried up anyway, gardeners are performing some lawn maintenance that would normally be done in the winter. Once that's complete, they'll water the lawn just a touch, stopping "once it comes up a little bit, just so it's not so brown and ugly," a security guard says. It would definitely be better not to water it at all, but at least it sounds like the lawn won't be back to its full, meadowy glory for a while.
The massive lawns and gardens surrounding the 1956 temple (California's first!) are open to the public and, predictably, a popular location for wedding photos. A member of the church notes that keeping the landscaping lovely is done "out of reverence to God."