UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The benefits and challenges of lawn conversion and native landscaping in communities that yield water-quality benefits will be the topic of a web-based seminar hosted by Penn State Extension from 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 12.
The session, a collaborative effort with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, is being offered at no charge to participants. Registration is required to receive the link to access the webinar. Registrants also will receive access to the webinar recording.
Presenting the webinar will be experts and educators from DCNR, Penn State Master Watershed Stewards, Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council, Native Creations, the Cumberland County Planning Commission and the York County Planning Commission. They will emphasize implications of landscaping changes for landowners and local officials.
As the Northeast experiences increased rainfall events triggering more frequent flooding from stronger storms, decreases in pollinator populations and other changes in the natural world are being seen. As a result, some are rethinking management of public and private recreational spaces such as parks, yards and other open areas of mowed grass.
To help landowners manage their lawns in a more economical and environmentally friendly way, this webinar will cover alternatives to large, mowed lawns, such as maintaining, creating or converting to more natural areas such as native meadows or patches of woods. The benefits of such practices include improved stormwater infiltration, reduced flooding, improved stream health and additional habitat and forage for pollinators.
Webinar presenters will discuss challenges inherent in these nontraditional methods such as issues surrounding property maintenance and related codes, as well as public/neighborhood perception and acceptance.
Featured speakers in “Changing Landscaping Practices: Implications for Landowners and Local Officials” will provide firsthand knowledge from their experiences in designing, installing, planning for, and regulating sustainable landscaping. Webinar participants also will learn about new programs being developed to help with outreach, funding and technical assistance for lawn- conversion projects.
To register for the webinar, log on to https://extension.psu.edu/changing-landscaping-practices-implications-for-landowners-and-local-officials or call 1-877-345-0691
–Jeff Mulhollem, Penn State University