How Stupid Is Our Obsession with Turf Lawns! 

The wide use of high maintenance turf lawns is harming the microorganisms with chemical fertilizers. This turf provides no habitats and makes it hard for many insects, bees, birds, butterflies to endure the urban hazard. I take a regenerative approach to grow a closer connection to the microbes, minerals, and a quiet force of nature that sustain our life. With a canon of studies, on urban ecology, I ruminate on the morpho-ecological design, multiple taxa, and complex species interactions. The greening activity is trending in the wrong direction with insensitivity and our stupid obsession with Lawns. In a culture obsessed with turf lawns, I am removing the manicured parks to inexpensively transform vacant urban areas into an “urban prairie. I am bringing back ecologically beneficial lawn alternatives such as perennial mix, native species that require no / less maintenance once established. I am using native grasses to restore soils and support a more diverse entomological ecosystem.  Highly manicured exotic plants introduced through the nursery industry have declined the native species distorting the ecosystem.

Making parks is not just about aesthetics and recreational purpose, but oftentimes it’s part of a fragile ecosystem that must be preserved. The spatial planning and the effective selection of urban vegetation are overlooked that has fragmented the landscape The trees, flora, and fauna present on the site should be accentuated into the design to create a harmonious whole. The tree species, the size of the trees, canopy are to be identified. Different trees have different characteristics – the spread of leaves, the speed of growth, the spread of roots, falling of leaves, water requirement, soil nourishment, etc. All these varying features play a major role in landscape design.  As the grown-up tree size and species aren’t easily available even in big nurseries, they don’t have tree transplanting practices that make it difficult in tree species selection and composition 

Furthermore, there is a limitation in the official list of planting selection, which mainly consists of seasonal flowers and turf lawns. I skipped that procedure and sourced wildflowers and perennials from the outskirts and farmhouses. While the pandemic hedged many parts of our daily lives, I made a frequent trip to the outskirts in search of wildflowers and experience the meadow. I want to bring that wilderness close to the neighborhood. Throughout my trip, I remembered a Landscape Architect named Jens Jensen. He was a mystic, poet of prairie, the prophet of conservation. Jensen fell in love with the wide stretches of prairie filled with grasses and wildflowers. He later recalled: It was on the train coming into Chicago, and through the car windows I saw silhouetted against the sky the delicate rose of a wild crab apple in early bloom. And when I was told it was a native tree, I said to myself, “That tree is a symbol of the beauty of this prairie landscape we have been passing through. “He regarded the spirit of nature as the enlivening force behind all his artistic expression.