- Associated Press - Sunday, May 29, 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Parks workers in Lincoln are taking a more artistic approach to mowing to differentiate between short- and long-grass areas.

The work is an effort to aid the environment and save the city money, as workers reduce mowing in parts of a number of parks, according to the Lincoln Journal Star (https://bit.ly/1U5yvxN ).

Crews began reducing mowing more than a decade ago. That led to complaints from residents, so officials hope the new more artful mowing will better set off the distinction between more manicured and natural areas. Workers have established mowing patterns that look like flowing lines around trees.

“It makes the long grass look intentional, rather than forgotten,” said Shawn Quinn, superintendent of the parks department’s southeast district.

Allowing long grass on about 850 acres of parkland also saves the city an estimated $422,000 annually, as crews mow three times a season instead of the 14 times in other areas of parks.

The longer grass also has deeper roots that stabilize areas near streams and reduces pollution.

The city now is planning to plant more native grasses in long-grass areas. It also began a stormwater project in one park that includes a wetland pond that features native grass and wildflowers.

Quinn said he considers the effort a success because the department is receiving fewer complaints from residents.


Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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