Natural Lawn Care in the Village of Lisle
Posted Date: 6/2/2010
Homeowners are increasingly turning to a new method for maintaining their lawns: natural lawn care. This approach views the lawn as part of an ecosystem, and works with that system to create the best growing conditions for grass. Its focus is on creating healthy soil that will in turn lead to healthy grass, producing a lawn that can handle drought and heat stress, fight disease and pests naturally, and even provide its own source of nutrition. This type of self-sufficient lawn has significant advantages. Over time, naturally maintained lawns require less frequent mowing, fewer fertilizer applications and practically no pesticides - saving money.
The Village, along with its partner the Lisle Park District, will start a cooperative natural lawn care demonstruction project this summer at Village Hall and the Lisle Station Park - the first of its kind in the community/Western suburbs. Far from cultivating an unkempt wild patch of green, the goal is to establish a highly attractive lawn with minimal weed problems. While the occasional weed may crop up, "weeds are often a sign that is the system is out of balance and can be addressed with proper maintanance and soil practices," according to Steve Pincuspy of Safer Pest Control Project. "Over use of chemicals can actually weaken grass and prime the lawn for weed, disease and pest invasion, resulting in even more chemical applications."
Moving away from an overreliance on synthetic inputs was a huge positive to Village employees. "Most lawn care products are made from fossil fuels and can pollute local waterways and the environment" said Eric Ertmoed, Management Analyst with the Village. "We felt there had to be a better option for maintaining Village lawns and reducing these potential impacts; natural lawn care is promising and quickly becoming cost-effective." Green Drop, a full service landscape company with a commitment to sustainability, is donating time and equipment to ensure a successful transition.
Results will be measured over the next three years and adjusted as new methods and organic products become available. The ultimate goal is a lush, healthy, natural lawn that is safe for everyone and more sustainable in the long-term.