The largest irrigated crop in America is probably not what you think. It’s the approximately 50,000 square miles of turf grass lawns throughout the U.S.
All those yards require A LOT of maintenance—mowing, trimming, watering, fertilizing, pest control, and more. In fact, about 50-75% of household total clean water is for outdoor use—much of that is in watering lawns to keep them green. Then, contaminated with our lawns’ fertilizers and pesticides, this water runs off and returns to our lakes and rivers. All in all, yards’ negative environmental impacts outweigh their positives by a longshot.
That’s why Cory Christopher, Director of Conservation at Cincinnati Nature Center, is trying to change hearts and minds away from turf lawns to prairies.