Turf grass is great for recreation. However, in most cases the common turf lawn is rarely used. This is a problem because too much turf-grass is harmful to local ecology. turf-grass lawns 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: meadow lawns.
There are a lot of different ways to convert a turf-grass lawn into a meadow lawn. You can go simple and plant low growing, native grasses as turf alternatives. These 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 wider variety of plant species. Either way, replacing turf-grass with native plants is helpful for the local ecology. Plus, once established, a meadow 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