Body of illustration and scicomm made for the Rethinking Lawns project. For more information about the Rethinking Lawns project, check out

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Rethinking Lawns:

Testing Ten Types of Turf Treatments

What if we rethought lawns?

Lawns are the largest irrigated crop in America at 63,000 square miles. That’s about 35,000 football fields or three times the area used to grow corn!

Seemingly small things like mowing and watering add up when there’s that much grass. Between mowing, watering, weeding, and the flooding it increases, lawn is expensive!

lawn-nowWhat could lawns become?

Lawn grass is just one species of thousands we could plant in our cities. What if we tried something else?

Experts from Chicago Park District & nearby institutions are trying out different plants we think will work. The plant mixes in this experiment include our native prairie flowers & grasses.

Watch with us as we find out what species grow best here and who comes to enjoy the new sights!