Is that picturesque lawn you’re dreaming about worth the investment? For several years now, lawn care has been looked at through two different lenses: a benefit to the environment or a luxury that people shouldn’t sink their resources in. Here are just a few reasons why healthy lawns are worth it.Managing StormwaterStormwater can have several negative impacts on our waterways, including the contamination of drinking water, harm to fish and other aquatic animals, and an increased chance of flooding. In fact, the research highlighted in this article suggests that planting more trees around rivers could take down the height of flooding in communities by 20%.
Healthy ground cover absorbs stormwater, minimizing all of these risks and providing cleaner waterways in the process. For towns and municipalities, this also means less money spent on water treatment costs and property repair. This can be particularly valuable for areas with sloped surfaces or high precipitation.
Vegetation and Erosion
Plants have always served as a barrier to erosion. Vegetation can reduce surface runoff, concentrating the flow of water and providing a rich uptake system for nutrients. This water replenishes our streams and ponds with clean water while the silting of these waterways allows the accumulation of sediments.
Healthy vegetation will not only make our landscapes more productive but also provide soil that promotes plant growth and water retention. The loss of this vegetation can lead to ground instability, especially in sloped areas, and soil degradation.
Carbon Reduction, Oxygen Production
Millions of tons of dust and dirt are filtered out of the air by turfgrasses in the U.S. annually. Yes – millions! Air-borne impurities are caught by grass blades then, with the help of precipitation, moved into the root area of these plants where they can be broken down by microbes. That means every single day, the grass in your backyard is doing its part to remove harmful gases like carbon dioxide and provide improved air quality.
In addition to filtering out the bad, healthy lawns and landscapes generate tons of oxygen through photosynthesis on an ongoing basis. More than 60 people can survive off of just one acre of grass a day. It seems like a no-brainer if something is providing a key ingredient to human survival, we would take time to nurture and protect it.
Preventing Other Types of Pollution
Lawns and turf ground cover don’t just stop impurities from getting into our air and water – they can also reduce noise pollution. Dense populations or poor urban planning can lead to unwanted distractions from traffic, construction, aircrafts, and more. Solid ground (like roads or sidewalks) has no insulation causing the noise to bounce off the surface and back into the surrounding areas. Communities with ample ground cover are not only more attractive but more peaceful than their city-like counterparts.
Reducing Unfavorable Air Temperatures
Most of us have experienced the startling feeling of running across hot asphalt or concrete when we weren’t expecting it. Plants of all shapes and sizes can provide the shade and evaporation necessary to bring down air temperatures – from small shrubs to large trees. This makes life more comfortable for humans and reducing energy costs by lessening the need for air conditioning. The more ground cover in any given area, the lower the temperature will be.
While lawn care professionals should be mindful of how much water, fertilizer, and chemicals they use, their job is significant. Healthy lawns are far more than just a luxury – each one is a tangible, living benefit to communities around the country. Remember that everything is connected to everything else, so while you might be exhausting resources to maintain a picturesque lawn, you are also providing resources, nutrients, and oxygen to the environment in return.