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CHAPTER 2

General Background

Bud Brownmud had never given lawn care much thought — that's why he got nasty letters from the neighbours and from the neighbourhood association about his lawn. On the other hand, Scott Greenlawn and his family took pride in their lawn, and made it a family affair:  every weekend in the spring and summer, Scott would cut the grass while his wife edged around the borders and his children pulled out weeds.

As we’ve seen from the Greenlawns and the Brownmuds, the difference between putting time and effort into installing and upkeeping a nice-looking yard and just letting it go can have all sorts of consequences.  These consequences can range from dirty looks from people walking down the street to — in some cases — actual property seizure and resulting eviction if you happen to live in a neighbourhood with a particularly draconian Homeowner’s Association.

Why does having a healthy lawn matter?  Because when a lawn is properly managed, it can offer big benefits to people and the environment. Well-managed lawns are an environmental asset. They can help protect — or even improve — water quality.  On the other hand, poorly-managed lawns — whether by neglect or through the overuse of fertilizers and pesticides — can be an environmental liability. Next...