Besides providing a foundation for some of our favorite activities, turfgrass plays an important role in our environment. In fact, the healthier the turf, the better it can protect the environment. Healthy turfgrass reduces run-off, minimizes erosion, cleans the air, neutralizes pollutants, and absorbs rainwater.
Prevents soil erosion and stabilizes dust
Turfgrass protects the soil from wind and water erosion. Healthy turf stabilizes the soil with its roots. The roots "knit the soil together preventing the movement of soil. Dense turfgrass also reduces dust because the soil particles are not able to move with the wind. This ground cover provides a place for airborne dust to settle. Lawns trap as much as 12 million tons of dust a year.
Turfgrass helps reduce runoff and prevents soil erosion, capturing and filtering rainwater to recharge our groundwater supplies. Grass leaves and stems cover the soil and intercept raindrops as they fall and interfere with runoff flow, slowing it to the point where soil particles have a chance to soak it in. In fact, water run-off from lawns is rare because the average 10,000 square-foot lawn can absorb more than 6,000 gallons of water from a rainfall event.
Reduces glare and noise
Since turf is a non-reflective surface, it acts as a screen to soften glare from the sun. Lawns, trees, and shrubs also have the ability to absorb sound, while hard surfaces like streets will reflect sound. Turf and other green plants can reduce noise levels by 20 – 30%.
Natural air cleaner
Turf takes in carbon dioxide and breaks it down into oxygen and carbon. The lawn outside of your home can provide most of the oxygen you breathe. In fact, a 50-feet by 50-feet area will provide enough oxygen for a family of four, day after day. Turf also takes in other gases. An acre of turfgrass will absorb hundreds of pounds of sulfur dioxide per year. The haze created by these pollutants can reduce the sunlight by as much as 15%.
Cools the environment
Turf provides a substantial cooling effect to the environment. Eight average sized lawns will have the cooling effect of 70 tons of air conditioning compared to the average 4-ton home air conditioner. Summer air temperatures above turfgrass will be up to 30° cooler than above a paved area.
Improves and restores the soil
Turfgrass is a perennial plant, which means part of the root structure dies off during the winter and grows back the following spring. The dead roots of the plant break down providing organic matter to the soil. The breakdown of clippings from regular mowing also adds organic matter. Over time, organic matter improves the quality of the soil making it more fertile and better able to filter air and water
Provides a place for us, our kids and our pets to play
With over 34,000 acres of sports fields and 700 golf courses in Ohio, turf plays a vital role in our health and well-being. The Center for Disease Control estimates that 17% of our kids are obese, so let's continue to provide them with places to play outdoors!