We understand now that the single-family home with the flat lawn of kentucky bluegrass is a travesty of environmentalism. It promotes city sprawl, runoff of chemicals into water systems, massive energy waste. The same can be said for our parks. Our parks and roads were not designed to be environmentally friendly. When the city was designed there was no concern for an environmental mindset. It is very challenging to engineer environmentalism into a system that had no concern for the environment when it was envisioned. There are small things we can do to move steps closer to be environmentally friendly.
- Low-interest loans to homeowners to create rain gardens and plant native species in existing lawn spaces.
- Promote the benefits of leaf mulching rather than leaf collection in reducing fertilizer use and promoting healthy soils.
- Ban non-organic chemical use by lawn care companies
- Allocate little-used portions of existing park space to the creation of native plant restoration areas.
- Createa large native demonstration garden as a city centerpiece for local homeowners to learn how to use native spaces to beautify their homes.
- Study bio-friendly alternatives to road salt in winter.
- Study the creation of a city circulator bus to support transit connections with neighborhoods to broader Twin Cities transit infrastructure and reduce the need for short local car trips.
- Continue existing bike and walking trails down the Penn Avenue corridor.