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Entomologist urges end of traditional green grass lawns

Mon, 15 Oct 2012 04:03:19 CDT
By: Charlie Schlenker

Entomologist urges end of traditional green grass lawns
Lawns as a cultural icon are a bad thing for the environment according to a leading entomologist. Douglas Tallamy, the author of "Bringing Nature Home: how you can sustain wildlife with native plants" says food web jobs are done better by native plants because the insects that supply protein for birds and other animals do better with native plants than with imports.

"Oak trees are the most productive plants that we have in the eastern landscape. They support 534 species of caterpillars compared to another favorite shade tree like ginko from asia supports one. If you're trying to feed the birds, which one are you going to use?"

Tallamy says a yard full of woody plants with strips of grass to walk on is better for the environment and for water retention in the soil. Tallamy says non sod yards still need managing. But, they can be tidy, beautiful, and a lot more productive for insect and animal populations. For instance, he says fireflies are far less common now than in past decades because larvae need leaf litter to live and that has gone away as lawns have taken over.

Hear an interview with Doug Tallamy.

Tallamy speaks at Heartland Community College 7:00p.m. in the Astroth Community Education Center Auditorium

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