Why Prairies Matter and Lawns Don’t
by Jameson Krumpler
Prairies – those critically endangered and complex ecosystems understood by few and misunderstood and destroyed by millions of people.
Lawns – those myopically obsessive (and evil) urban, suburban, and increasingly rural monoculture eyesores that displace native ecosystems at a rate of 5,000 acres per day in favor of sterile, chemically-filled, artificial environments bloated with a tremendous European influence that provide no benefits over the long term; no food, no clean water, no wildlife habitat, and no foundation for preserving our once rich natural heritage.
As one internet commenter named Carrie eloquently said, “as a nation, we have far too much lawn doing far too little for us.”
How much lawn is too much? 41 million acres. That figure makes lawn the most widespread plant under irrigation in the contiguous US. Three times more acreage is covered in lawn than in corn. All of that once precious water used on those 41 million acres of ridiculous, non-native turfgrass to keep it unnaturally green – how can people be so blind?
Lawns, along with row-crop farms, “improved” grazing pastures, and urbanization, are some of the biggest negative land conversions of native landscapes, and are direct contributors to the destruction of wildlife and native plant habitats throughout the world. As native landscapes disappear, wildlife disappears, and important ecological processes that insure outcomes such as clean drinking water, climate change buffers, and flood control also disappear. The future of mankind depends heavily upon the health of native landscapes…
(read more: The Roaming Ecologist)
images: J. Krumpler; Allen Scott Walker; pschemp | Wikipedia
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