Our Views: BREC returns turf to nature

If you’re tired of mowing the grass this summer, then think of what the Baton Rouge Recreation and Park Commission faces this time of year in trying to keep its properties mowed. Trimming hundreds of acres of grass throughout the warm months can be expensive. BREC has reduced those costs a bit by recasting some parts of its park grounds as natural areas that no longer need mowing.

This strategy isn’t going to work for most of the acreage in BREC’s parks, of course, since open fields and common areas will always be a big part of a park’s appeal. But ceding just a little bit of turf to trees and other ground cover can benefit the local ecology, too. Birds and other animals need that kind of terrain to thrive, and trees help filter the air and cool the city.

“We’ve established a ‘green’ committee at BREC, and we’re looking at ways to use more environmentally friendly techniques,” said Ted Jack, an assistant superintendent at the agency.

By converting at least a portion of a lawn to more-natural landscaping, homeowners can help the environment, too. We hope more of them follow BREC’s lead.