An environmentalist in Washington, D.C., was left stunned when they received a hefty fine for their wildflower garden.
The homeowner received a note ordering them to pay $872.21 for “cut and clean,” with the local authorities penalizing them for not having a traditional monoculture lawn.
Writing on PoPville, a website that provides news and updates about neighborhoods in the D.C. area, the bemused gardener said they planted native wildflowers in their front yard in an effort to combat global heating and to encourage the presence of pollinators.
Furthermore, the goal of the small inner-city plot was to follow local instructions to conserve water and bring a bit of color to the community.
Despite getting plenty of praise from neighbors and passers-by for their vibrant garden, the Office of Civil Infractions didn’t take too kindly to the wild yard.
“Being wild means that – unlike environment-destroying grass – they appear unkempt when not in flower,” the distressed gardener detailed. “The problem is that urban residents are accustomed to neat grass lawns that drive climate change, but they’re sadly not used to seeing 10 x 5 feet of actual nature in their outdoor environments.”
After receiving a notice of violation from the city, they razed the garden and cut back the dormant flowers, even though “doing so makes no environmental or aesthetic sense.”
But despite their efforts, they were still hit with the punishment, and they intend to appeal the city’s decision.
Despite being the favored option of many local councils and homeowners associations, monoculture lawns are not as kind to the environment as a garden full of native flowers.
Lawns require a lot more water to maintain, which is a drain on resources, and they dry out quickly in the summer months, leading to brown and barren gardens that are not as beneficial for insects, birds, and other small animals.
Native flowers, on the other hand, are acclimated to the local weather conditions and don’t require as much maintenance, and the flowers bring pollinators that are vital to a healthy ecosystem.
Redditors commenting on the story were equally perplexed as to why the homeowner received such a huge fine for something that would benefit the community.
“This is why our planet’s doomed,” one user said.
“What lunacy is this?” added another.
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