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The American Lawn: Understanding an Unnatural Obsession

The American Lawn: Understanding an Unnatural Obsession






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  • They have sheep grazing. Now not every lawn has a sheep, but they embrace the lawn much differently because for them, it didn’t exlode in our culture during the post war years. Our relationshiph is very different. , despite the fact that they have estatse like these speckling their whole country.
  • Take a look at all that lawn! But lawns are also verrry different in the UK than over here. Yes, they are the first ones to conduct a study to such an extent but take a look at this
  • **environmentally friendly!!!** we think we’re doing good! MY FAVORITE– is that it says it filters water for us- cleans the water. ARE people BLIND?? They SELL BIRD FOOD AND THE THINGS YOU CAN KILL NATURAL BIRD FOOD WITH!!!!! ….. I ask, WHAT IS ECOSENSE WHEN IT COMES TO LAWNS!??????
  • Is this what it will come too? Becaise of resource scarcity, people can’t maintain the real green lawn so their opting for syntehtic ones because its so engrained in our culutre. Show picture when I ask my posit the synthetic grass question
  • But that might not be too much of a stretch, seeing as this is what we have now.
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The American Lawn: Understanding an Unnatural Obsession The American Lawn: Understanding an Unnatural Obsession Presentation Transcript

  • The American Lawn: Understanding an unnatural obsession Kristine Salters
  • (Is this any better than the driveway?) The intensively managed lawn
  • Part I: Why? How?
  • Thomas Jefferson, fan of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown
  • Part II: The Ecological Underpinnings of the Lawn
  • Need a picture of lawns in the desert. the town of Needham, MA, in the last century, they have lost over 330 plant species, which is about 44% of its native richness, while gaining over 200 non native species. This same trend is seen in birds, mammals, and insects. Urbanization endangers more species in the US than any other human activity
  • The ecological problems: INCREASED ENCOUNTERS WITH HUMANS H ow will conservation efforts respond? HOMOGENIZATION ANIMAL BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION Microevolution in the backyard? SPECIES EXTINCTION? Limit pesticide/fungicide/herbicide /insecticides
  • I’ll also touch: … Should I limit my focus? Outdoor power equipment & air pollution Water scarcity
    • Development and Lawns foster:
    • Fragmentation
    • B. Introduction of nonindigenous grasses and ornamental shrubbery
    • - substrate for nonindigenous animals?
    • - linked with socioeconomics?
    • C.The use of toxins
    • - destruction of naturally occurring life
    • -decreased / increased species abundance
    • - Non native v. native
        • - Backyard promoted Microevolution?
    • E. Changes in TROPHIC STRUCTURE?
    • -how will conservation efforts respond?
  • What do you think?
  • “ I’ve never seen so many gulls.”
  • Part III: Reinventing the lawn
    • Will a(n) _________________ perspective help us change the ways of the lawn?
    Ecological Productivity/food Resource scarcity Public Health
  • The “Freedom” Lawn What is the most feasible solution to a 150 year old landscaping trend?
  • ?
  • Their solutions: Organic Lawn Care.  organic, slow-release fertilizers, applying only pre-emergent weedkiller, leaving clippings on the lawn, and mowing at a higher setting. Or it could mean eliminating the need for added fertilizer by simply adding the self-feeding clover to lawns. Low-Maintenance Turfgrasses .   Buffalo grass, centipede grass, clover, fine fescue mixes, or other drought-tolerant, slow-growing turfgrasses, where regionally appropriate, save a lot of resources. Reducing or Replacing Lawns.   Where they aren't needed for recreation, lawns can be replaced with any mixture of trees, shrubs, and perennials, even edibles, and all of those can be beautiful.
  • San Francisco’s Toxics Reduction
    • Integrative Pest
    • Management (IPM)
    • ‘ Recession’ Gardens?
    • … what about Industry?