A New Era in Lawn Care

  • Monday, June 23, 2008 2:38pm
  • Life

There’s a house in my neighborhood that always catches my attention. It’s not a well-tended garden or magazine-worthy front porch that stops me cold.

It’s the artificial turf.

This yard is home to a handful of canine pals. The plethora of doggie toys and even fence signs with information about the pups show they’re well-loved by their owners. I’ve never had the chance to ask about the homeowner’s choice of artificial turf, but I assume it keeps the dogs from digging, and any leftovers from puppy play time can be washed away with a hose.

This homeowner may be ahead of the times.

According to The San Francisco Chronicle, more schools are considering the benefits of artificial turf for their playgrounds. The schools say the artificial turf actually reduces the school’s carbon footprint. The turf needs very little upkeep, and schoolyard sprinkler systems can be eliminated. Pollution-belching lawn mowers can be stored for good.

At the same time, the federal Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the Centers for Disease Control, is investigating whether artificial turf poses health hazards. The turf may emit carcinogenic fumes, and the fake grass blades could contain unsafe levels of lead.

We reported that last week.

The Adopt-A-Stream Foundation argues that this region’s percentage of roofs, driveways and roads already inhibits normal groundwater seepage. Standard suburban lawns nearly as good for the environment as native plant growth, but how much worse is artificial turf?

Turf advocates say the stuff is water-permeable. Critics respond that the synthetic layer pollutes surface water.

The Synthetic Turf Council reports that artificial turf is a good way to recycle old tires.

My question: should children be sent out to play on the remnants of an old 18-wheeler’s tires?

Very little independent research has been done on this topic. Hopefully a new interest by federal regulators will shine a spotlight on the issue, and schools can get the information they need to make informed decisions.

More in Life

From Jasper to Banff: A Canadian adventure in an RV

Jennifer Bardsley plans to take her family on two-week roadtrip through Canada in a tent trailer.

Skippers share sea stories at Marysville speaker series

The Bellingham couple will talk about charter cruises on the historic wooden vessel they rebuilt.

Anxiety, or chronic worry, is a growing problem

Paul Schoenfeld shares four approaches to help keep your anxiety from getting out of control.

Expo in Stanwood can help you get ready for the country

The Country Living Expo and Cattlemen’s Winterschool is set for Jan. 27 at the high school.

Find many of our region’s winter birds in the Skagit Valley

If you love birding, also check out these bird-related festivals, lectures and other events.

What’s new this year for travelers in England, Ireland

The nations are improving tourism infrastructures and adding exhibits to well-known sights.

Curries continues home-cooked Indian cuisine at new location

The restaurant, now located on Evergreen Way, also puts an Indian spin on Northwest cooking.

Megyn Kelly trashes Jane Fonda’s ‘poor-me routine’

Kelly defended her decision to ask Fonda about her history with plastic surgery last September.

Don Imus announces date of his radio show’s final episode

His contract was to end in December, but the syndicator of his show filed for bankruptcy last year.

Most Read