New Lawn Care Practices at UUCC

As part of our commitment to “caring for the earth, our home,” our UU congregation will be changing our landscaping practices to be more friendly to bees, other pollinators, and wildlife. There are several reasons for doing this:

· Bees and other pollinators are threatened because their habitats are being destroyed by decreasing wild areas and the dominant aesthetic preference for smooth, green lawns.

· Pollinators are necessary in order to grow food.

· Lawns are “deserts” for pollinators.

· Lawns that are allowed to grow to 4” allow more pollinators to find nectar and to multiply.

· Taller lawns require less water.

· Healthy plants create healthy soil. Healthy soil sequesters more carbon.

We will be having the lawn mowed every two weeks rather than every week and keeping it at 3 – 5”. At first glance, it may look as if it is being neglected but it will not be. The dandelions and other flowers that will show up are signs of a healthy lawn that allows diverse plants to grow. As in so many aspects of life, diversity is vital and makes us all healthier.

In the future, we hope to gradually reduce the size of the lawn and expand our planting of pollinator-attracting perennials. (The lawn-mowing is done by professionals and the gardening is done by volunteers.) Over time, we intend to make this a site that enhances the beauty around us and the health of all of us.

A letter is being sent to folks in the neighborhood and the city of Shaker Heights has been notified that we are doing this. Their rule is that the grass should not be longer than 6” so this plan is not a problem. We trust that the congregation understands the prioritization of pollinators and healthy air, water, and life over the pristine look of short grass.

More reading materials on this are available on request.

Many thanks,

Tom Gibson & Dell Salza

Ministry for Earth Co-Chairs