Turfgrass Benefits Related to the Human Element
Landscape plantings, including lawn areas around the home and workplace, have been shown to affect people positively. A healthy, maintained lawn area creates an inviting view for those passing by and provides an aesthetically pleasing, natural backdrop for other landscape elements.
Uniformity of the lawn surface helps confer a sense of coherence and harmony to the entire landscape scene. It is this peaceful setting that is believed to contribute to a person's feeling of well-being and a decrease in emotional tension. It has also been noted that patient recovery rate is faster where they have a view to a landscaped setting versus a view of adjacent buildings only3.
The physical and social problems often associated with inner cities can, in part, be related to the absence of lawns and other ornamental landscape plantings. When areas are cleaned up and various landscape plantings reintroduced, there is a noted improvement in the physical environment. There is also an increase in neighborhood interaction thereby strengthening the various social relationships and overall community bonding4.
Creating healthy and sustainable lawns and landscapes that provide these and many other human and environmental benefits does not happen by chance. It begins with carefully considered, well-planned landscape design. Selecting the most appropriate plant material is important followed by a maintenance program that minimizes resource losses (e.g., nutrients, soil, water) from the ecosystem. In turn, these lawns and landscapes will require fewer outside inputs to sustain their health and remain environmentally functional and aesthetically pleasing.
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