The month of April is designated as National Lawn Care Month and The Lawn Institute and the National Association of Landscape Professionals want to heighten public awareness regarding the many environmental and health benefits of natural grass.
The Lawn Institute has estimated there is more than 31 million acres of managed grass in the U.S. – more than 50,000 square miles of it – and more than 60 percent of it is found in lawns. This estimate coincides with research conducted by Cristina Milesi with the ecological forecasting research group at NASA's Ames Research Center in California. In viewing satellite imagery they estimated that lawns – including residential and commercial lawns, golf courses, etc. – could be considered the single largest irrigated crop in America in terms of surface area, covering about 128,000 square kilometers in all.
That's a lot of lawn and it begs the question, how do we benefit from all that green space?
Truth be known, we all benefit considerably.
Among the many benefits of a healthy lawn is its dense leaf area and a fibrous root structure. Its thick root structure provides a remarkable if not almost incomprehensible benefit. Dense, healthy grass is the best natural surface we have for trapping and storing rainwater and at the same time reducing soil erosion. A healthy 10,000-square-foot lawn can absorb more than 6,000 gallons of rainwater without noticeable runoff. The root system also acts as a natural filtering system for the water, absorbing excess fertilizers and other chemicals before they reach the ground water that is the source of our drinking water.