Turf Rundown – Natural Turfgrass: Public Perception, Policy and Regulation

Natural turfgrass has many uses and benefits in urban environments where it captures rainfall and stormwater runoff, moderates temperatures, filters urban pollutants, provides a safe playing surface for children, and more. Perennial turfgrasses are some of the most adapted plants for use in urban environments yet their use is often discouraged or even limited by regulatory agencies, modeling codes, mandatory standards, and rating systems. While these systems are well-intentioned and primarily designed to reduce water use, their design and implementation often do not fully account for new irrigation technologies, plant breeding advances in drought tolerance, proper site construction, and the role that natural turfgrasses, like all plants, play in otherwise concrete, plastic, and artificially constructed urban environments. This session will highlight public and regulatory perception using survey and other data as a framework for discussing the current and future role of natural turfgrasses in urban and suburban environments. It will also highlight consumer and market research that Turfgrass Producers International is conducting to determine what factors influence people’s views of natural turfgrass and its alternatives.

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