Andrew Bray, vice president of government relations for the National Association of Landscape Professionals, a trade group, says lawns are still the mainstream choice. People want neat outdoor spaces for relaxing, playing and entertaining.
He says his group supports the goal of making lawn care more environmentally friendly, but believes some recent ordinances, like those against gas-powered blowers and mowers, have created a “fraught political environment.” He says electric alternatives to those tools aren’t feasible yet for the big lawns that professionals handle.
The landscapers’ trade group set up a new public platform this year, Voices for Healthy Green Spaces, to present its side of things. “Whether people want to have a large yard, plant a forest of trees in their backyard, or want a meadow and unstructured plantings,” all are green options, he said.
How green or environmentally friendly is the manicured and green lawn free of dandelions and leaves? It will likely take a varied approach to move many Americans away from these ideas. This could involve: displaying and marketing alternative approaches to yards; financial incentives to avoid a green grass lawn; increasing concern and action regarding climate change and its effects; and selling new kinds of lawn products. Put these together and the preferred lawn might change…over decades.
And keep an eye on how Big Lawn operates.