Unmowed grass in cities. Residents increasingly see the benefits

Unmown grass in the city, they can not only bring relief to residents on hot days, but also benefit the environment and help maintain biodiversity. flower meadows in the city, they can help bring down the summer temperature by a few degrees.

For several years, more and more Polish cities have decided to limit the mowing of grass in summer. The Green Council of the Capital of Warsaw in the current guidelines explains: “One of the aspects of pro-ecological greenery management is the reduction of mowing. Due to climate change, a few years ago the ZZW limited the mowing of street lawns five to three times a year.”

– You should not mow the grass more than three times a year. Regardless of what place we are talking about – he believes, however Łukasz PorębskiAdvisor Żoliborzmember The city is ours.

For years, the city councilor has observed the development of pro-ecological activities in the neighborhood and throughout the city. He notices that there are now more places in Żoliborz where the Warsaw Greenery has decided to leave unmown fragments. – For the benefit of the environment and nature, but also for the benefit of the inhabitants – he underlines.

And the benefits are huge. Untown lawns keep more water in the ground. They purify the air, stop the dust. And quite simply – they are more pleasing to the eye than mowed and withered lawns.

However, as the Warsaw Green Authority thinks, “the mowing of street greenery is necessary for the safety of road users, therefore this process is carried out three times”.

– The argument that the grass should be cut in certain places because it obstructs the passage of motorists is not reflected in the realities of driving. It is really very rare for a grass in Poland to grow to such heights. These are not rye or corn fields to reach two meters in height – comments Porębski.

The town councilor observes that city dwellers increasingly see the advantages of unmowed lawns in the city. The idea that the perfect lawn is what we call english lawn – short cut, persistent.

– I see society accepting grass left behind more and more, because the fragments bloom very quickly, the simplest plants, like clover, bloom on it. In my opinion, it looks much nicer than a short grass clipping. Especially since the so-called English lawn requires a huge amount of water for irrigation. Lawns like this can be nice for a while, but without enough water they dry out very quickly and turn yellow very quickly. And it doesn’t look pretty anymore – says Porębski.

They have also been cutting less in Krakow for some time. As he says Piotr Kempfdirector From the City Greenery Board in Krakowresidents of the capital Małopolska will become more and more accustomed to the fact that mowing the grass in the city is not a necessary option.

– We have limited mowing to the strict minimum, which is already visible in many places. The traffic lanes are mowed primarily at the intersection to maintain visibility, while the remaining portions of the traffic lane are mowed less frequently, up to two or three times a year. Places where people rest on blankets, etc. are often shorn, says Kempf.

He notes that the introduction of flower meadows a few years ago was a big step in convincing the public not to mow the grass. “The flowers made people look at that lawn differently,” he says.

In Krakow there are approx. 30 ha of flower meadows – both on traffic lanes and even in parks.

– I remember when we started in 2015 as City Greenery Authority. We received calls from residents only with questions: when you finally start mowing because you can’t see anything, our dogs get lost, there is a tragedy because of the tall grass – remembers Kempf. – We’ve gotten to the point where we’re getting more and more calls asking why we’re already mowing, why we haven’t let the grass grow, etc. People have understood that you can mow less often, that mowing is not necessary to survive in the city – he adds.

However, city dwellers can still hear mowing just outside their buildings. Chances are they hear them more often where the grass is managed by housing co-ops.

– I would say that the introduction of this trend in housing cooperatives comes after December. Housing cooperatives have their specificity, they adapt much more slowly to the changes to which the inhabitants are accustomed. But more and more residents themselves are calling on cooperatives, for example on social networks, to mow less often. The pressure is mounting, he says Piotr Kempf.

Changing the mowing approach also brings savings. According to the previous contract with subcontractors, that is, concluded for the years 2018-2021, the mowing year cost about 9 million 690 thousand PLN. The new contract assumes 8,800,000 PLN for one year – says Kempf.

As he explains, this difference is not more dramatic, if only because by mowing less frequently, money has to be spent transporting biomass, which is not exported by mowing. more often.

– However, I think that in this case we should not necessarily look only at the financial savings themselves, but also at other benefits – he says.

And these advantages, in addition to those mentioned earlier, are also less exhaust in town and less annoying noise from mowers under the window.

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