Sunday, November 29, 2009
End of the grassy American front yard?
(Image courtesy MJIphotos)
Grass seems to be on its way to becoming the poster child for all that’s wrong with our landscapes, at least in an environmental sense. Could this growing sentiment signal the end of the grass-covered front yard?
That’s not at all far-fetched. At least in California that's the case where water use on home lawns is in policymakers' line of fire.
Much of the state has been suffering a multi-year drought and local water authorities are under orders from Sacramento to conserve water. All cities in California must pass “water efficient” landscape ordinances by year’s end, with many cities there seeking to limit the amount of water used (and wasted, they feel) on home lawns.
For example, council members in Santa Rosa, CA, a city of about 160,000 in Sonoma Country, the heart of California’s wine country, are considering a landscape ordinance that would, in effect, prohibit grass in the front yards of new subdivisions of five or more homes.
Homeowners in Santa Rosa would still be allowed to have grass in their backyards so their children have a place to play, reports the Santa Rosa (CA) Press Democrat in an article published Nov. 28.
For many Americans, including the writers of this blog, it's hard to imagine homes without soft, cool, grassy front yards.