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Re: property values and crime in regard to greenspace/ lawn vs. garden

  • Subject: [cg] Re: property values and crime in regard to greenspace/ lawn vs. garden
  • From: "lisa vandyke" vandykelisa@hotmail.com
  • Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2002 16:26:04 -0600

Hi there,

Brian and Shane - I would suggest that you broaden your research and look within the urban planning and urban forestry journals for data pertaining to crime abatement and property values. Those fields have more money than community gardeners and commision such studies. I might also suggest that the term 'greenspace' could be helpful in your searches, as many community gardens are found within established greenspaces (parks, botanical gardens, and other public areas). there is a journal called Public Garden concerning botanical gardens, and many urban forestry publications/symposium papers.

And as far as lawns vs. gardens, I think that there is always room for both. In the land of mega mosquitos and microscopic ticks, keeping a shorn lawn around the house can be very important. BUT, there are other grass mixes and non-grass options that are very appropriate for home lawns which do not reqire the water or mowing - there's a short fescue mix called no-mow which tops out at 8 inches and can tolerate shade quite well. Sedges and prairie grasses could be used much more often in appropriate places. Few plants are as good as the grasses for erosion control. And of course there are the zoning laws that have to be considered - a lot of education to be done...I think that it's easy for us gardeners to point fingers at the suburban landscapes and cringe, but in reality we have a gift and passion which is not shared by all, and gardening requires a great deal of time and a commitment to learn. We've made our lives terribly complicated in this culture, I'm all for higher density housing and stopping sprawl. In Minnesota, these concepts have been successfully attacked as 'social engineering'. Lots of work to do...

Best, Lisa in Mpls

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