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E-M:/ Grass Is Gone on Other Side of These Fences

Great Lakers,
It may seem unimportant in light of arsenic in drinking water and drilling under the Great Lakes, but the issue of our fixation with lawns (and all the problems that come along with current management schemes) is an important issue for the environment, particularly in Michigan and Wisconsin where rapid suburbanization creates new lawns each year.  The New York Times has an article in today's edition on lawns that you may find interesting.  
URL =  http://www.nytimes.com/2001/05/05/national/05LAWN.html
Here is a snippet: 
"But much of the turf grass grown in the United States is not native, and requires a lot of water, chemical herbicide and fertilizer to keep up its appearance. The average lawn will use up to 10,000 gallons of water over a summer, according to city water departments. And the National Wildlife Federation says the average suburban lawn takes in 10 times the pesticides as an acre of farmland."
and one more:
"Companies dedicated to growing, fertilizing and mowing grass are not taking this nascent antilawn movement lying down.

"The lawn is starting to get a bad rap," said Kerry Bierman, a spokesman for Scotts Company, the world's largest seller of lawn and garden products. "But I don't think you have to apologize for a good-looking yard. The lawn is a friend."

Enjoy your weekend.

Dave Zaber

p.s.  In a recent hearing on new polluted runoff rules for Wisconsin, the turf industry was squawking about a clause that requires owners of turf greater then five acres to have a IPM plan for nutrients and pesticides before application.