2017-09-01 / Letters

In defense of natural lawns

I have a green lawn. It’s very healthy and doesn’t use near as much water as you might think, but I don’t think the water watchers want to hear that.

When you consider my drought-tolerant shrubs and fake lawn in the backyard, I think my landscaping is pretty efficient. Letters here have advised me to rip it all out and go with native plants instead, but I just can’t see myself playing catch with my grandsons on a gravel-covered lot festooned with small, spiky plants. Maybe it’s just me.

And the fake lawn, while it has its benefits, also has some disadvantages that keep me from applying more of it. My 400-square-foot lawn creates almost enough oxygen every day to support one person and reduces the urban heat island effect that plagues so many grassless cities.

One thing you never hear people complain about is backyard pools. I think I know why. Probably the same reason Al Gore never complains about how much fuel his private plane uses. Depending on the source cited, pools consume as much water as an equivalent-size lawn, or far more when you consider periodic backwashing of equipment or partially draining and refilling the pool occasionally to expel dissolved solids.

Evaporation of water is accelerated in hot, dry weather or when it’s windy, conditions this area experiences in abundance, so the water loss may be higher. I’m not anti-pool; I swim at the YMCA frequently. But based on the number of pools seen from an aerial view, I have to believe many people complaining about my lawn probably have their own little water waster hidden away in their backyard.

The bottom line is this: I hope you enjoy your own property, however you choose to do so, but your tyranny stops at my property line.

Bruce Wallick
Simi Valley

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