This piece in the local paper advocates more trees, better managed and placed trees, and better storm runoff and more permeable landscapes--i.e. engineered landscapes. I agree. I also respect the author, but take issue with the trees. We are on theoretical prairie, at least that's what the climate zone is--boom and bust droughts and deluges, the edge of tallgrass and mixed grass.
|Union Plaza in Lincoln|
More prairie spaces, even in small chunks of 100 square ft, would create a new community, maybe a stronger sense of community and a sense of connection to the land--that latter point being something we really need for emotional and physical health. Trees may cool the heat island, but true water conservation begins with side oats grama grass, coneflowers, leadplant, prairie clover, bluestem, milkweed--all plants that improve the clay soil digging down deep. And the wildlife benefits would be immense, especially for insects that are the base of the food chain. Who wouldn't want to sit in a park watching butterflies and birds by the hundreds? Downtown? Over lunch? Holy cowhusker. And the maintenance costs are this: mow in the early spring, wait until next spring. No chemicals. No combustion engine exhaust fumes or sound pollution. Serenity in the "prairie capitol." A little Chicago or New York (the watermark in the first image says "Lincoln's Central Park," but Lincoln is in the Plains, not in east coast forests).
Lincoln, we need prairie. We are prairie. Teach us about our state and world. Open our eyes to life and one another. Prairie us.