Home > Design the Details, Ecological Design, Parks and Recreation, Visual Stimulus > Does Parkland Grass Come Before Children, Pets And The Bay?

Does Parkland Grass Come Before Children, Pets And The Bay?


“No children or pets in our parks? Pesticides in the bay? Green grass doesn’t excite me.”

~ Bob Otwell’s message accompanying these two images sent via email

I fully agree and the city needs to hear this message from more people! Many of us are being responsible in our own yards by:

There are alternatives! (Refuse to Use Chemlawn) Please, don’t shy away from supporting more sustainable management practices…send a note directed to public works and parks and recreation encouraging them to transition away from the use of toxins.

It needs to be noted, the parks and recreation commission recently passed the 5 year goals and objectives which includes GOAL 4: PERFORMANCE LANDSCAPE GUIDELINES. If you have ability in this field and want to champion or lead a sub-committee with parks and recreation, send me a message. We certainly need help on this issue.

Goal 4 reads as such:

Develop a set of Performance Landscape Guidelines (PLG) that will encourage a more sustainable approach to designing and managing City parks.


The following criteria should be considered:

  • Soils, ecology and existing wildlife habitat 
  • Storm water management
  • Selection of vegetation
  • Air quality and the capture of carbon emissions
  • Design, social space and park visitor amenities
  • Operation and maintenance including the mowing and the development of no-mow areas in existing parks – (possibly convert some existing lawn areas to native meadows to increase species diversity in our parks and provide wildlife habitat).
  • LEED and other National and State accredited design standards including LID and Green Infrastructure.

  1. June 9, 2011 at 8:18 am

    I agree, residents to the Great Lakes area use enough harmful controls, the government should set a good example by choosing sustainable and safe methods to care for local parks.

  2. Amy
    June 9, 2011 at 8:51 am

    It is wild that my daughters have grown up looking for weeds on grass before they frolic –if there are weeds that means it is “safe grass”. All it took was one experience with a “caution pesticide” sign to keep two little girls from simply enjoying grass…

  3. June Thaden
    June 9, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Thanks to Bob Otwell and Gary for pointing out that our City needs a bit of pushing to do the right thing. I don’t understand the desire to have the prettiest, greenest grass carpet. And certainly not by the City.

    The kids and the Bay waters come first!

  4. Matt Ross
    June 9, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    I Agree, We should go back to a more natural landscape. I think this is another example of “we do it because that’s the way we have always done it” I thought the bay front plan calls for a more natural landscape?

  5. Marya
    June 9, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Thank you for pointing out that theCity (and all of us) can do better by doing LESS.

  6. June 10, 2011 at 6:33 am

    Why fertilize grass that will be used for a parking lot in 3 weeks?

  7. June 10, 2011 at 11:40 am

    This image posted on the MyWHaT Facebook page is pretty telling.

    Pesticide and Recreation
    Pesticide and Recreation

  8. June 11, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Thank you Bob and Gary! I will definitely send a note to the City on this. Great post!

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