Home » Green Blog » Currently Reading:

Less Lawn, More Life

May 7, 2015 Green Blog No Comments
Toni Bailey

Toni Bailey

 

 

 

 

 

By: Tony Bailey

May 7, 2015

If you join the Izaak Walton League’s “Lands Green, Waters Clean” program, one of the things we’ll consider together is reducing the amount of lawn in your yard. Here’s why:

A lawn is a monoculture – one plant (in this case, turf grass) covering a significant amount of space, excluding other plants. This limitation on plant diversity means an ecosystem out of balance, since healthy ecosystems thrive on diversity, and few species of local wildlife can use this grass for food.

In our zeal to have the “perfect” lawn, we often add synthetic pesticides and fertilizers to our grass. The pesticides can have a detrimental effect on human and animal health, and the fertilizers compromise the natural processes in the soil. The roots of turf grass do not go very deep, so soils covered with turf grass generally do not absorb water efficiently. This means that when it rains, much of that water is lost as runoff – not a good thing for the Muddy Branch, because the runoff washes those fertilizers and pesticides into the Muddy Branch. Speaking of water, lawns need a lot of it in hot summer months to stay green, leading to higher water bills. And of course, that well-fed lawn is growing, and if it’s going to keep looking perfect, then it has to be mowed. Even if you don’t mind the chore, the mowers are contributing to air and noise pollution.

Note that earlier I said that we would reduce – not eliminate – areas of lawn. Grass can also serve a useful purpose as a nice, walkable surface in a yard. Areas of green lawn can also offer a calming counterpoint to more varied plantings. So we’ll aim to preserve the amount of lawn that you need and convert the rest to rain gardens, conservation landscaping, and canopy trees.[1] With less lawn, you’ll have more life: more wildlife – especially birds, butterflies, and fireflies – to keep you company.

If you live in the Muddy Branch watershed, visit the “Lands Green, Waters Clean” website and request a site visit to get the turf ball rolling. Even if you don’t live near the Muddy Branch, our Web site has plenty of resources to help you turn your yard into a wonderland for birds and butterflies.

[1] I’ll describe those strategies more specifically in upcoming posts, so please check in each week for updates.

[1] I’ll describe those strategies more specifically in upcoming posts, so please check in each week for updates.

Comment on this Article:







Facebook Forum

Advertisement space available

 
 
 

Meatless Monday Recipes

Meatless Monday: Butternut Squash Soup with Sage and Parmesan Croutons

19 Nov 2013

A good friend, Denise Clark, sent in this vegetarian seasonal recipe.   1 3 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1″ cubes (5-6 cups) 2 tablespoons of olive oil 2 teaspoons of  kosher salt Pinch of freshly ground pepper 1 tablespoon butter 1 large onion, diced 1 tablespoon …

(No Comments)

Meatless Monday Butternut Squash Ravioli

4 Nov 2013

From Chef John at allrecipes.com Ingredients  Original recipe makes 6 servings 1 cup mashed, cooked butternut squash 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 pinch cayenne pepper 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese 1 egg yolk 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 (16 ounce) package round wonton wrappers 2 …

(No Comments)

Meatless Monday Proclaimed by Montgomery County Council

22 Jul 2013

July 22, 2013 Gaithersburg, Md By: Alex Stavitsky-Zeineddin I was so pleased to find out that Montgomery County Council has officially endorsed Meatless Mondays, a nationwide effort to choose more plant-based foods. For more information about this news read Compassion Over Killing’s website.  Also, Naomi Bloch sent in a Meatless …

(No Comments)

Meatless Monday Recipe- Roasted Cauliflower

17 Jun 2013

  This recipe sounds delicious and I am going to try it tonight because I have a cauliflower sitting in my fridge and I need to cook it! Will let you know what it tastes like!- Alex Stavitsky-Zeineddin Recipe is from BonApetit Ingredients Roasted Cauliflower 2 1/2 cups dry white …

(No Comments)

Meatless Mondays-Caramelized Onion Tart

20 May 2013

Here is a vegetarian recipe for an Onion tart. I just read up and now understand that a tart is made in ribbed dish, the bottom part of the pan can come out, and the tart can be all sorts of shapes vs. a quiche is in round pie dish… …

(No Comments)

Available Grants and Scholarships