The Benefits of Lawns
Date Posted: 7 November 2017
Ever thought about the value of a lawn? You might think that the purpose of a lawn is just to make landscapes more practical and usable or to make them look good and this is true but as you'll discover, lawns contribute much more than that!
"As a society we tend to take the benefits of grass for granted," says James B Beard Ph.D., one of America's leading turf experts and the chief scientist at the International Sports Turf Institute.
Aesthetically, lawns enhance the quality of life, contribute to social harmony and community pride, increase property values and compliment other landscape plants.
Lawns provide a soft landing for kids at play, a blanket for families to picnic and a cushion for bare feet to roam. The same important benefits stretch worldwide.
Beard notes, “Turf grasses have been utilised by humans to enhance their environment for more than 10 centuries. The complexity and comprehensiveness of these environmental benefits that improve our quality-of-life are just now being quantitatively documented through research.”
The scientific evidence clearly shows that a healthy lawn is good for the environment. "Because it's around us every day, people don't think about the fact that a healthy turf generates oxygen for improved air quality,” says Beard.
“Most homeowners don't realise noise and air pollution are reduced in most suburban areas because the grass ecosystem serves as a natural filter for the environment.”
Here are just a few of the many additional environmental benefits Beard and other scientists report. (courtesy of the lawninstitute.org)
- Lawns provide excellent soil erosion control.
- They improve recharge and quality protection of groundwater and provide flood control.
- They enhance entrapment and biodegradation of synthetic organic compounds.
- They absorb and sequester carbon dioxide gases.
- They bring substantial urban heat dissipation which results in temperature moderation.
- Lawns contribute to home security as well, providing high visibility zones that deter potential intruders and open green spaces that serve as a firebreak to reduce fire hazards.
- Clippings contain nutrients useable to the grass, when left on the lawn.
- A 15m x 15m lawn releases enough oxygen for a family of four, while absorbing carbon dioxide, ozone, hydrogen fluoride, and peroxyacetyl nitrate.
- A dense, healthy lawn prevents run-off, absorbing rainfall six times more effectively than a wheat field and four times better than a hay field.
- A lawn helps control pollution, trapping much of the dust and dirt released into the atmosphere.
- The front lawns of eight average houses have the cooling effect of about 70 tons (68 metric tons) of air conditioning, while the average home-size central air has only a 3 to 4 ton capacity (2.7 to 3.9 metric tons).
- Safety-sightlines discourage intruders and heighten visibility.
- Lawn absorbs noise and reduces glare.
For these reasons….and so many more…lawns are an important part of our urban landscape