Grass on medians, why?
A little while ago I ranted about grass on medians in the Ottawa Citizen. It makes so little sense, in all sorts of ways. We should have shrubs and “tapestry lawns” (look it up) and flowers and such, not grass. Stuff that’s green but doesn’t require mowing with awfully loud and dirty two-stroke engines. Something that might help the bees, birds and other beasties live more comfortably alongside us.
Some folks in Ottawa have launched a petition to replace grass on Ottawa medians with bee-friendly plants. Maybe we’ll get somewhere.
In the Ottawa Citizen Tom Spears explains how much tree cover you need in a particular city block or neighbourhood to start feeling the cooling effect of the canopy. The magic number is 40%.
Less than half the overhead space, but not by much. Look around you: Do you see that? If not, why not? If so, do you feel the difference? Put it this way: If you’re fortunate (or wealthy) enough to live in a leafy neighbourhood, would you be prepared to give up your tree cover? I’m betting not.
So instead of complaining that it’s hot and cranking up the AC until it breaks, maybe we should focus on planting more trees instead. The City of Ottawa has a program for that. Years ago they came by my house to offer a beautiful Japanese lilac for my front lawn. Today Romeo (yes, I name my trees, doesn’t everyone?) is flourishing and shade-giving. Smells wonderful these days too.
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second-best time is right now. The City is there willing to help. All we need to do is find suitable spots for them. I’d suggest “everywhere” but that might not be scientific enough. I trust you can find something.