A single blade of grass may not seem very impressive. However, when joined by the millions of blades in a lawn, it is part of an incredibly diverse and active ecosystem that benefits homeowners and society alike. Some of the benefits are easily measured; others are less tangible.
Ask any real estate agent. An agent knows that it is much easier to sell a home with the curb appeal of a well-kept lawn than one full of weeds. An attractive lawn sends a signal to the buyer that the rest of the home is likely well-kept and is worth a premium price. In fact, it can add 5 to 15% percent to the home’s value.
Less easy to evaluate are the ways in which lawns affect how we respond to the world around us. Most people say that the best place to relax is in their own backyard. But the benefits of green space go much deeper then relaxation.
Healthy, well-maintained lawns provide truly marvelous environmental benefits, which can be seen in the ways a green, growing lawn contributes to the world around it. Consider just a few of the ways that healthy grass forms a vital link In the environmental chain society depends on.
Pollution Fighter: In one year’s time, the blades and roots in an acre of healthy grass absorb hundreds of pounds of pollutants from the air and rainwater. Among them are sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, hydrogen fluoride, nitrates, and other gases blamed for acid rain and the green house effect. A common misconception is that he products put on lawns contribute to groundwater contamination and to algae blooms in nearby ponds and lakes. The truth is that few materials get past grass roots. The dense root system under a healthy lawn captures pollutants as water filters through the soil.
Help in Breathing: 625 sq feet of lawn produces all the oxygen a person needs for a day. An average home lawn of 5,000 sq feet produced enough for eight people in a day. It takes two 100 foot trees to do the same amount of work.
Cooler and Quieter: When the heat is on, the grass helps keep you cool. While the street temperatures may rise to 100 (degrees) F, your lawn stays at a cool 75 (degrees) F. This means the lawns of a block of eight homes does the work of 70 tons of air conditioning.
Grass also makes your life quieter. It effectively absorbs and deflects sounds. When combined with trees and landscaping, a lawn can reduce harsh, un wanted noise to a distant murmur.
Dust Trap: If you have ever walked through a dry barren are, such as a construction site, on a windy day, you have some idea of what life might be like without healthy lawns. Clouds of windblown dust make for difficult breaking, irritated eyes, and reduced visibility. Grass is an effective air cleanser. It slows the air moving across its surface, so that dust particles settle out onto the blades are are eventually washed back to the ground. Every year grass traps millions of tons of dust that would otherwise blow unhindered.