Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wisconsin Woman Taken to Court Over Her Lawn

In Shorewood, WI, Louise Quigley, who has been living in her home for over twenty years, is being taken to court over her native lawn.  In an effort to deter schoolchildren from using her lawn as a shortcut coming home from school, she decided to plant prairie grasses, goldenrods, milkweed, and butterfly weeds, citing the ecological benefits of such a planting.

“They are less work, they come up every year, they are pretty," she says.  "Native perennials have all kinds of environment benefits because the native plants feed the native bugs, feed the birds; it’s the bottom of the food chain.  You can promote the survival of our ecosystem and our biosphere if you plant native plants.”

However, despite Louise's astute decision regarding local ecology, her prairie yard happens to violate an outdated neighborhood ordinance that her community has begun cracking down on.  The ordinance states that native lawns can't exceed six inches in height, and when Louise refused to comply with the ordinance she was summoned to court.  Louise has since been trying to push village officials to get the ordinance changed.  She argues, "(The ordinance) is about lawns and it isn't about native plant communities.  It was drafted way back and wasn't about 21st century aesthetics or a 21st century ecological understanding. I don't have a lawn, I have a prairie. They are using a lawn regulation to harass me about my prairie."

 Read more about the Shorewood community and Louise's battle here.

Have a great day!
-Melissa

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