On August 31, 2007 the Morrison County Record published an Our View letter titled Turn on the faucet…. The opinion published was regarding water conservation and in part, the story discussed lawn watering strategies that will maximize conservation.

While I agree with conserving water, I also think a dialog about the traditional Minnesota lawn is long over due. The bottom line is that the grass in our yards isn’t native to Minnesota, which is why it requires so much water during dry periods and droughts. Grasses that are indigenous are more drought resistant and can tolerate the deviations in temperature and precipitation that often accompany life in Minnesota.

Since, drought resistant native grasses  are often taller, they do not offer the same well manicured look of traditional lawns and can  require more of an initial investment to plant. Despite their obvious appropriateness for Minnesota  conditions, many cities have lawn mowing requirements that are incompatible with indigenous grasses.

While I agree that conservation is good, planting indigenous grasses and flowers is even better. It’s time to reconsider local government policies that impede the use of indigenous plants, and then take a good hard look at what we can do in our own backyards to bypass conservation by eliminating the need altogether.

Flapping the Gills,

Brooke Trout