Deliberately looking for environmental problems was demoralizing. I try to stay aware of concerns around me and unsustainable things I do in my day-to-day life, and so making an effort to identify more problems further contributed to the disheartening reality. Something that stood out to me today was the large area of campus and its surrounding neighborhood covered by grass. I grew up in Northern California, where more times than not we were experiencing severe drought. We were only allowed to water our lawn on certain days of the week, dictated by our address number, and it was common to hear how the few houses that renovated their lawns to be drought friendly (e.g., grass replaced with wood chips, rocks, and low water plants) were an eyesore. I selected these images as they show not only one of the quads on campus, but also small areas where other vegetation could have been included but were rather covered with grass. Putting native plants instead of grass can limit the runoff during rain events into puddles and sewers, decrease freshwater use, diminish the need for chemicals and fertilizers, and avoid the use of gas-powered lawn mowers. The common belief that grass is ideal for adding greenery to a suburban or urban area contradicts what can be best for the environment. 

One thought on “Grass”

  1. I love this post because it shows how JHU can contribute to this environmental problem. Biodiverse lawns or water conserving lawns are also of huge importance in Southern California, and I think that JHU could show a commitment to environmental protection by changing some areas to help absorb water during the storm events that cause flooding on campus.


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