In Southfield, man ditches lawn for native habitat

Amid the tidy suburban yards of Longcrest Street in Southfield, Michigan, John DeLisle's lawn sticks out like a sore thumb. Well, it's not so much a lawn as it is a prairie filled with chest-high wildflowers and deep-rooted native plants. While it may look chaotic to passers-by, it's an intentionally reconstructed native habitat that DeLisle tells Jim Schaefer of the Detroit Free Press has several environmental benefits.

"...This provides not only habitat for plants, animals and lots of other organisms — you know, decomposers, etc. — but it enables all of the pollutants from driveways and streets to be absorbed and processed in a natural way by the root systems of all these deep-rooted, native plants," says DeLisle.

While birds, bees, butterflies, and small animals love the yard, many of DeLisle's neighbors do not. But DeLisle tells Schaefer that if everyone had a yard like his instead of a conventional lawn, we would be able to divert over 90 percent of stormwater away from the sewer system, which would both keep pollutants out of our water and result in lower water treatment costs.

Read more and see a video of DeLisle's native habitat yard: Detroit Free Press
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