Nature In The Natural State: Lawns And Mowing

Oct 14, 2019

People generally agree that a mowed lawn is attractive. In fact, ordinances and covenants in many neighborhoods require lawns, and mandate that they be mowed.

Should we re-examine these values, in light of the climate crisis and increasing environmental degradation?

Most lawn mowers run on fossil fuels. Fertilizers and herbicides are poison, and their runoff from our lawns ends up in the Gulf of Mexico, where they contribute to the Gulf’s Dead Zone. The grass in most lawns is not a native species and so turns a yard into a food desert for wildlife.

The leaf litter we rake up and dispose of each autumn contains both food for animals and life itself.

To help the environment, plant native trees and shrubs, and native flowering plants and grasses. For more information, check out the Arkansas Extension's website to create a backyard native habitat.