Watching a solar or battery robotic lawnmower a couple weeks ago at an unnamed theological seminary got me thinking, yet again, about turf grass. I have a tiny speck of turf grass at my home that gets mowed with a Brian-powered push mower. I determined again, for at least the 4th time, that the grass needs to go and be replaced with native plants and grasses.
Not long ago I had a rector somewhere back East contact me about how to move her congregation from lots and lots of beautiful turf grass to something in alignment with the creation care commitments of the Episcopal Church. She told me a member of the vestry (governing body) who told her that the one thing he is most proud of is that their churchyard is just like a golf fairway. I’m guessing not a lot of butterflies and lots of Roundup. About all I could do was quote Archbishop Desmond Tutu, “how do you eat an elephant, one bite at a time.”
I know (some) statistics:
- Grass lawns consume nearly 9 billion gallons of water a day
- Lawn mowers consume 200 million gallons of gas a day
- The U.S. has 85 million home lawns and over 16,000 golf courses with close to 50
million acres of cultivated turf in America
I know some of the detrimental impacts of turf grass. For starters, grass lawns increase greenhouse gasses, pollute ecosystems, waste water, and diminish biodiversity. I do have a list of positive impacts of green grass. Community soccer and baseball fields, a place to walk barefoot, croquet. I’m sure if I try hard enough I could come up with a longer list.
Google benefits of turf grass. All sorts of trade groups, turf farms, and lawn care companies can supply you with so-called reasons and maybe some I might agree with. What to do, what to do…
Faithful Agrarian Top 5:
- No Mow May (or pick a month or two)
- Carbon Landscaping
- Grass Alternatives
- Pollinator Garden
- Grassyard to Foodyard
It’s time to shrink my grass yard, one bite at a time.