NEIGHBORING LAWNS ON RIPON’S southwest side display differences of philosophy about how yards should be maintained.  	         						  Tim Lyke photo
NEIGHBORING LAWNS ON RIPON’S southwest side display differences of philosophy about how yards should be maintained. Tim Lyke photo

     Sarah Schindler argues lawns should be banned.

     The University of Maine School of Law professor published a paper six years ago scolding local governments for ignoring a major threat to sustainability: lawns.

      Grass, Schindler contends in an abstract of her paper, is the single largest irrigated “crop” in the United States.

     While acknowledging that most homeowners value a well-manicured, green lawn, Schindler identifies the cost of such a monoculture on biodiversity, the environment and scarce natural resources.  ...

     Here in Ripon, the Common Council decided to limit grass blades to 6 inches in height by issuing citations to those who like their lawn mowed less frequently if at all. ...
   
     Some argue this is classic government overreach, either for reasons of sustainability or, more commonly, for alleged infringement of private-property rights.

     Whether one sympathizes with the conscience of Sarah Schindler or the intellect of Ayn Rand, objections to “nuisance” provisions — weeds, abandoned cars, profane graffiti, loud music rodents and other neighborhood blight — merit serious consideration.

     The notion of community implies mutual respect for each other’s sensibilities. Community is not “me;” it’s “we.” ...

                                   — Tim Lyke

     To read the entire editorial, see the July 25, 2019 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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