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Rethinking lawns: natural climate solutions

We now know that our century long quest for the perfect lawn is contributing to our climate emergency. It's time to reimagine curb appeal. Natural climate solutions offer immense possibility for helping Kingston achieve its strategic goals. Presentation to Kingston's EITP Committee.

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Rethinking lawns: natural climate solutions

  1. 1. lawns are a climate catastrophe
  2. 2. It’s time to reimagine curb appeal
  3. 3. pesticides emissions of mowers, blowers, trimmers water waste & runoff fertilizer polluting waterways noise pollution biodiversity loss It’s time to reimagine curb appeal
  4. 4. Adopting landscape care practices that reduce emissions, store carbon & increase biodiversity
  5. 5. That reflect a unique spirit of place
  6. 6. And that promote the well being of current & future generations of all beings
  7. 7. Natural climate solutions offer immense possibility for helping Kingston achieve its strategic goals
  8. 8. But our bylaws need to be updated to reflect the city’s commitment to greening & climate action A Handbook for Municipal Biodiversity Planning and Management
  9. 9. the place we inhabit
  10. 10. Mixedwood plains ecozone with the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence forest
  11. 11. Native grasslands of Napanee Plain
  12. 12. a movement is afoot
  13. 13. ALREADY in Kingston
  14. 14. our ask
  15. 15. organic mowing & land care practices polyculture hydroseeding The city can model the way with new practices prototype landscape alternatives (e.g. verge along Oak Street community garden)
  16. 16. ban two stroke engines phase out gas powered mowers, trimmers, blowers (2 stroke engines) bylaw changes (right NOT to mow, noise) Update policies to support citizen action reduce energy use, reduces waste, provides natural cooling & wind protection targets & incentives for lawn conversion Imagine the impact be if we set a target to convert 25-50% of lawns?
  17. 17. simple process for adopting green spaces support wildscaping & foodscaping (edible trail?) incorporate into waterfront, K&P, active transport plan education, tourism, wellbeing Co-create, with partners, experiences that help trigger behaviour change
  18. 18. our offer
  19. 19. region specific resources, expertise & education community activation & citizen engagement event ideas & support
  20. 20. the downside
  21. 21. mindset of the perfect lawn long standing habits & behaviours threat to existing business models Changing ideas about the perfect lawn is really about re-educating people to think in a completely different way. ~Steve Schneider, Arnold Arboretum Harvard
  22. 22. the upside
  23. 23. increase biodiversity & local resilience reduce stormwater runoff reduce carbon & nitrous oxide emissions store carbon
  24. 24. promote food security beautify city reduce noise reduce stress, increase activity
  25. 25. innovate new business models
  26. 26. around the world
  27. 27. Atlanta is striving to bring healthy food within half a mile of 85% of Atlanta residents by 2022
  28. 28. Qatar is creating a productive permaculture campus in the desert
  29. 29. Paris is covering 50% of the city with porous, planted areas, encouraging ‘citizen-gardeners’ The forecourt of the Gare de Lyon after planting. (Ville de Paris/Apur/Céline Orsingher)
  30. 30. Sheffield is transforming from a gray to green with innovative plantings & green infrastructure
  31. 31. Seaside Florida only allows native plants in front yards
  32. 32. Toronto is implementing a biodiversity strategy asking “how can we design our city to protect & enhance nature & the biodiversity found within it?” Wild, Connected and Civerse, Toronto’s Biodiversity Strategy
  33. 33. Sweden, Germany & other countries are naturalizing their parks & public spaces
  34. 34. Christchurch is creating an edible city for disaster resilience: Ōtākaro Orchard Image by Steffan Kraberger
  35. 35. Boulevard Gardening Guidelines, Victoria Victoria encourages boulevard gardening to create healthy & diverse ecosystems, vibrant & attractive streets and improve local food security
  36. 36. Edible Trails are springing up in cities large & small across the United States & Australia
  37. 37. Love My Hood, Kitchener Kitchener is partnering with citizens to love my hood
  38. 38. Cities like New York & Detroit are converting Brown spaces to wildscapes & foodscapes
  39. 39. A Handbook for Municipal Biodiversity Planning and Management Natural climate solutions offer immense possibility for helping Kingston achieve its strategic goals
  40. 40. We can partner with you in helping you achieve your strategic goals, but we need your support Adopt organic mowing & land care practices Set targets & incentives for lawn conversion Prototype polyculture hydroseeding Update yard & noise bylaws (right NOT to mow, noise) Ban two stroke engines Introduce simple, co-creative process for adopting green spaces Explore idea of incorporating edible trail into waterfront, K&P, active transport plan

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