Lazy green landscaping: meadowing

Want to convert your front lawn into a garden or a native plant habitat? You’re likely looking at a lot of work in terms of killing off or digging up sod (we’re assuming you wouldn’t just douse it with herbicide), preparing the soil, and putting in new plants.

Turns out there’s a method that the Lazy Environmentalist would love: meadowing.

That’s the term they’re using at Cornell University to describe “[letting] a portion of Libe Slope grow wild this spring and summer.” Translation: they’re just not cutting the grass.

Part of the University’s broader Climate Action Plan, Cornell’s Grounds Department claims that meadowing ties into “improved land use [which] translates to less vehicle miles traveled on campus, integration of Ithaca’s natural landscape with the University’s infrastructure and continued naturalization efforts aimed at improving campus aesthetics while reducing its carbon footprint.”

Of course, some just think it’s ugly: “I personally think it looks unkempt and it distracts from the appeal of the campus. I would like to see the grass cut,’ Andrew Schwartz, ‘11 said.”

What do you think? Is the actual work of green landscaping worth the aesthetic benefits (as well as food production from gardens)? Or, do you plan to tell the neighbors that you’re “meadowing” when they come by to complain about the uncut grass?


Image: Cornell’s Morrill Hall on Libe Slope (prior to meadowing, we assume) Credit: Bill Price at Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons license