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It’s Time For Cities To Rethink Lawn Policy

Amy McEuen

In a climate crisis, city ordinances should encourage us to promote biodiversity in our yards, rather than criminalizing it. Lawns are the largest cultivated crop in America, taking up an estimated 2% of land, over 40 million acres.  Mowing and leaf blowing increase greenhouse gas emissions, over 70 million pounds of fertilizers contribute to algal blooms, pesticides pollute, and watering lawns strains freshwater resources. We know native plants are adapted to local climates and soils, thus decreasing the need to water or fertilize. We know these plants build up soil, suck up carbon, absorb rainwater to prevent flooding, and create habitat. They feed native insects which feed native birds.