How to park your lawn mower for good: the Meadow Project

Got a lawn? Ever stopped to consider the amount of time, money, and natural resources you put into keeping that grass green? The watering, fertilizing (whether through organic or conventional means), mowing, and weeding? No doubt that lawn grass is the most high-maintenance plant on the planet (as the expert in the video above observes)! Even if you’re not a greenie, is that really how you want to spend your time, energy, and money?

Filmmaker and landscape designer Catherine Zimmerman has taken on the task of educating people about the costs of their lawns, and arguing for a more sustainable and low-cost alternative: the meadow. The Meadow Project is Catherine’s multimedia effort to train us all to think about our yards as homes to a variety of plant and animal species, and to show how the lawn model is not just unhealthy, but downright deadly. With 48 million acres of lawn in the US, she’s taken on a American obsession.

The project is partially completed: she published her book Urban & Suburban Meadows, Bringing Meadowscaping to Big and Small Spaces in 2010. The hour-long companion film has been more challenging, and more expensive, so Catherine has turned to Kickstarter to raise the $20,000 she needs to complete the whole project by Earth Day 2012. She’s about two-thirds of the way there, with 19 days to go.

I must admit that this project doesn’t just appeal to my environmentalists leanings, but also to my innate laziness: I’d love to give up mowing my tiny little lawn, and have already made some moves towards an urban meadow (primarily through the incorporation of native prairie grass). If you’re with me on giving up the lawn mower, consider kicking in a few bucks to Catherine’s project.

Transformed your own yard from a lawn? Let us know what you’ve done.

via @Tom_Traver


Image credit: Walraven at flickr under a Creative Commons license.