The Great American Lawn – Current Events: A Theology of Lawn Care, Part 1

In the USA on July 4th we celebrate Independence primarily by launching fireworks. What other American cultural classics are a part of July 4th?  Getting together with family for a cookout where we eat burgers, hotdogs and apple pie. Then we play baseball or maybe a game of wiffle ball.  You know what those activities need?

A lawn! The Great American Lawn is a normal part of family gatherings not just on the 4th of July, but all spring, summer and fall when the weather is nice. Have you ever wondered what God thinks about your lawn? This week on the blog we’re going to try. 

Did you know that lawns are known around the world as a classic cultural artifact of the United States of America? Michelle and I have friends who lived away from PA, internationally and in other places in the USA, and they used to say that whenever they would come back to the Susquehanna Valley, they would immediately notice the lawns, how much time and effort when into lawn care. 

Around the world, and even in other places in the USA, lawn care is not nearly as important as it is to us.  If you drive around the community where I live, East Lampeter Township, you will notice that just about every single property has well-manicured lawns and landscaping.  Why?  There is a reason for it.  I encourage you to watch the brief documentary below as it does a wonderful job telling the history of the Great American Lawn. 

Did anyone learn anything new from the video???  Let’s reflect on some statements from this video and some other research I found.  First of all, let’s talk about lawns by the numbers.

80% of all homes in America have grass lawns.  How many of your homes have grass lawns?

Lawns are the most irrigated crop in America.  At 40 million acres, the space used by lawns is three times more than the acreage for corn.  Stop reading this post, and take a look around you. I suspect you’ll see that nearly every business, residence and public place has grass.  Lots of grass. 

That grass requires care.  3 billion man-hours is used for lawn care every year.  The equipment used to care for lawns accounts for 4% of all carbon emissions. 

9 billion gallons of fresh water is sprinkled on lawns every day.  One third of all public water is used for lawns.

78 million pounds of pesticides and 90 million pounds of fertilizer is used on lawns every year.

How did we get here? 

In the next post, we’ll learn more.

Photo by Zach Reiner on Unsplash

Published by joelkime

I love my wife, Michelle, and our four kids and two daughters-in-law. I serve at Faith Church and love our church family. I teach a course online from time to time, and in my free time I love to read and exercise, especially running,

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