• Outdoors Outdoors

Impressed resident shares photos of public space in their city: 'The park system is amazing!'

"This makes me so happy!"

"This makes me so happy!"

Photo Credit: iStock

Multiple organizations gathered to try an experiment in a Chicago park: "What if we rethought lawns?" One Reddit user shared a photo of the newly renovated space as well as some beautiful and educational signage about the experiment.

"This makes me so happy!"
Photo Credit: Reddit
"This makes me so happy!"
Photo Credit: Reddit

The post, shared in the r/NoLawns subreddit, garnered a lot of support from commenters. One Reddit user said: "The park system [in Chicago] is amazing! The botanical garden? OMG, I want one!"

One of the photos in the post is of a colorful sign at the park. It shows a comparison of facts between the average lawn and this new experiment. 

One fact states that the average lawn is "mowed weekly, which takes work, money, and burns gas." Comparatively, the experiment area, featuring native flowers and grasses, doesn't require mowing, which "saves work, money, and the environment."

These facts are true for private residential properties as well. Maintaining a traditional grass lawn is time-consuming and costly for homeowners. Water bills are higher, and regular fertilizer treatments can also get expensive. Switching out your grass lawn for a native-plant lawn saves time and money, and is great for the environment. 

The sign at the park also shares information about the effects of this experiment on wildlife. The only food for pollinators in the average lawn is weeds. In contrast, a native-plant lawn offers a regular food source for pollinators: flowers.

By building a healthier ecosystem for pollinators, parks, organizations, and homeowners are helping secure our food supply. 

Another photo in the Reddit post shows an infographic from the Rethinking Lawns website. According to the infographic, there are over 50 million acres of lawn in the United States, which is roughly the size of Minnesota. Americans use 9 billion gallons of water a day and 3 billion gallons of gas per year to maintain these lawns. 

Switching to natural lawns and installing native plants can cut back significantly on water consumption and gas usage. Even partially replacing a lawn with eco-friendly, low-maintenance native plants such as clover or buffalo grass can have a positive impact on your wallet and the environment. 

For more information, visit TCD's guide pages on rewilding yards and installing natural lawns.

Organizers of the park experiment are interested to see which native plants thrive in the area and what wildlife shows up to enjoy it. 

One Reddit user commented: "Beautiful. Simply beautiful." 

And another said: "This makes me so happy!"

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