Turf grass is great for recreation and sport but in most cases the common turf lawn is rarely used in such a way. This is a problem because turf lawns are harmful to local ecology. They are not very good at filtering rain water, are biologically sterile, and take a tremendous amount of time and effort to maintain. The good news is that there is an alternative: native lawns. A good name for a native lawn is a meadow.
There are a lot of different ways to turn your yard into a meadow. You can go simple and plant low growing no-mow turf alternatives that allow you to use your yard in ways not so different from when it was turf. Or, you can dedicate your meadow to local wildlife using a wide variety of plant species. Either way, replacing turfgrass with native plants is helpful for the local ecology. Plus, once established, a native lawn requires less maintenance than the turf lawns of old.
Check out the links below for resources on creating a native lawn:
Lawns to Legumes
The Lawns to Legumes program offers a combination of workshops, coaching, planting guides, and cost-share funding for installing pollinator-friendly native plantings in residential lawns. The program has three components:
- Grants to demonstration neighborhoods
- Grants and coaching for individual landowners
- Outreach and education for all interested Minnesota residents