The Meadow Project

Prairie Clover

Catherine Zimmerman is on a mission. But it's not the same one she started with.

Catherine will tell you that the fully green and resplendent lawn used to be her mission. That was before she made the connection with her perfect green lawn and her now-missing fireflies. She changed her ways, however, and is eager to share the lessons she learned.

From "How Fireflies Forever Changed My Life:"

In the fifteen years since I stopped piling on the pesticides, there has been growing scientific evidence connecting pesticide exposure and health concerns.  The EPA reports that in the United States 95 percent of lawn pesticides are possible or likely carcinogens.  In Canada, over 80% of the country has enacted bans on cosmetic lawn and landscape chemicals.  The film, A Chemical Reaction, tells the story of the grassroots efforts in Canada that eventually brought about a Supreme Court ruling in favor of the ban.  The court decision was based on the Precautionary Principal: “When an activity could harm human health or the environment, precautions should be taken, even when there is not absolute scientific proof or consensus.”

Elementary students explore in an outdoor classroom meadow.

Our dangerous (and sometimes enforced through neighborhood ordinances) addiction to green lawns is costing us not just our gold but our health and our clean water. Catherine has a small, more than half-funded project she wishes to accomplish to help educate others about the dangers of the American lawn and the joys of doing something...different.

You can read about what Catherine is up to by clicking on the links below--take them in order, they'll make more sense! If you'd like to contribute, click on "The Meadow Project" at the top right of my blog. Even if you can't contribute, consider sending this link to friends with similar interests. Donations start at only $5.

There are plenty of people out there who have no idea how badly we need bugs. We need them for pollination, to feed other creatures we love such as birds--in fact, life on this planet would cease to exist if we wiped them all out. By foregoing "lawn" and establishing urban "meadows" instead, we are really just practicing self-preservation--with a little aesthetics thrown in for good measure.

Sources:

How Fireflies Forever Changed My Life

,

Urban & Suburban Meadows

Photos: © Catherine B. Zimmerman

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Rain Garden = Riparian Zone

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Pork With Squash and Pineapple