Thanks a ton for sharing the info on the Minneapolis “lawn” rules. We might consider asking some of the regional city councils to explore this kind of extension.
I asked my sister if she knew of any cities with “prairie friendly” laws, and she fished up a reference in a report some of her students did to Prairie Crossing, Illinois, which apparently has a lot of native landscaping. A lot of their homes have apparently received a Conservation@Home certification which, for their county, requires:
- A young oak is present
- Plants native to northeastern Illinois cover at least 5% of the landscape
- Lawn chemicals are absent – or rainwater flows through a garden or other water-absorbing feature
- Buckthorn is absent – or covers less than 5% of the landscape
(Our property is probably pretty close to meeting these; not sure if our natives cover 5%, but we’re darn close if not there.)
I couldn’t anything about their “lawn rules” on-line, but I bet there are such things and they would share them if we asked.
I know that we’ve had some boulevard tree mortality at our house over the years. When we moved into this house in 1991, the boulevard trees were all old established elm and ash trees. Since then we’ve lost all but one, and it’s a fairly sad panda (to mix my taxonomic metaphors). The city has planted new trees, but at least one or two of them didn’t survive the first few years and had to be replaced. I think that everything we currently have is pretty established and should be OK barring some some sort of accident, etc.
I’ve heard Margaret Kuchenreuther argue that all we ought to be planting in Morris is burr oak from acorn, but that would require many years of looking after before the tree would be big enough to not get accidentally mowed over, so I don’t think the city is likely to go that direction. (One of our boulevard trees is a burr oak which is doing very nicely, but it was several feet tall when the city planted it. They actually planted two at the time, but the other one didn’t make it, and they replaced it with something else.)