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Calgary residents consider alternatives to turf

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Feb4,2024

Calgary residents consider alternatives to the lawn

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“The good old lawn is one of the biggest consumers of water, because it requires a lot maintenance,” emphasizes Jennifer Hoglin.

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Significantly reduced mountain snowpack and falling river water levels in Alberta have Calgarians raising awareness for alternatives to turf as they anticipate the return of water restrictions linked to drought.

What I'm about to say will offend a lot of people, warns Jennifer Hoglin, owner of a gardening store. She believes that good old grass is one of the biggest consumers of water, because it requires a lot of maintenance.

The maintenance she's talking about isn't about labor, but rather the amount of water needed to keep the lawn green. She says residents who water their lawns for aesthetic reasons are causing a double loss of water: one loss in a drought-stricken environment and another for a space in which they could grow food.

On Thursday, the province of Alberta began negotiations with major water license holders to reach an agreement on the Red Deer, Bow and Old Man river basins. These negotiations are taking place in a context of growing concerns about water shortages.

Ms Hoglin proposes Lawn alternatives,a concept aimed at reducing or transforming backyards in order to consume water usefully. It also offers water-saving methods such as swales and rain gardens.

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If you have a lawn that you never walk on, maybe you can use that space to grow your own food, she points out.

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Growing what you eat is much better than watering greenery that is only there for a few months a year, emphasizes Ms. Hoglin.

According to her, watering the plants that we grow for consumption is much better than watering a lawn that is only present for a few months of the year.

Reducing the surface area of ​​our lawns greatly contributes to reducing our water consumption, she confides.

Grouping favorite plants together in a small watering area or using native plants that have high drought tolerance are among the methods his company suggests.

Kath Smyth, horticulturist at Calgary Horticultural Society shares the same opinion as Jennifer Hoglin on lawns

Let's be realistic, we are in a state of low water, she says.

She believes that many people are concerned about the appearance of their property and wonder if I get rid of my lawn, will it be ugly?

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Many people are concerned about the appearance of their property, Ms Smyth points out.

It doesn't have to be ugly, according to this horticulturist. That's why the Calgary Horticultural Society is hosting Think Spring, a workshop to help Calgarians learn about water-saving alternatives to lawns.

According to her, one of the best ways to save water is to harvest the small amount of rain we receive every year and reuse uncontaminated water from our home and use it to water plants.

With information by Helen Pike

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my natasha@thetimeshub.in 1-800-268-7116

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