Event:Wakarusa - Native Plantings with Sharon Ashworth

September 18, 2022, 4 pm |Meet at west shelter of Dad Perry Park, 1200 Monterey Way, Lawrence, or on Zoom
Cost: Free
Signup Instructions: RSVP by 3 pm on September 18th. 
Zoom link will be sent by 3:30 pm if you are attending online.

Cancellation Policy: Activity is held rain or shine, but may be altered due to inclement weather


Wouldn’t you love to say goodbye to your lawn mower? As they crank up their noisy, gas-guzzling lawn mowers and turn on their hoses, many home and property owners are not aware that there are alternatives to green turf lawns that could save them considerable time and money.

The Wakarusa Group has invited Sharon Ashworth, horticulture and natural resources agent for Douglas County whose specialty is land stewardship, to teach property owners, or anyone who controls any green space, how to convert that green lawn into a thriving habitat that bees, butterflies and birds will love. Join us on Sunday, September 18 at 4 p.m. at the west shelter of Dad Perry Park, 1200 Monterey Way in Lawrence.

In the cities and suburbs of the Midwest, large green expanses of lawn, sometimes more than an acre in size, are everywhere. However, they are not sustainable in that they are neither water nor energy-wise. It takes gas to power all those lawn mowers, and bluegrass fescues wilt during hot Kansas summers. Did you know that green lawns are the most irrigated crop in the United States, and more acreage is devoted to lawns than fruit and vegetable production?

Moreover, during this time of biodiversity loss, green monoculture lawns do not create habitat. If they are sprayed with herbicides and/or insecticides, are actually detrimental to native plant, insect and bird species.

There are sustainable alternatives. "No Mow May", an initiative that began a few years ago in Appleton, Wisconsin, encourages homeowners not to mow their lawns until after clovers, dandelions and other natives have bloomed in order to assist pollinators. But even after springtime, it is possible to plant tough grasses and native plants adapted to the local environment that will not require mowing or any chemicals.