Outgrowing our Mowing: encouraging low-cost, biodiverse lawns in Auckland
Lawns are a major design element of urban greenspaces worldwide. Acting as powerful social symbols with connections to colonial history, New Zealand lawns are perceived as natural and desirable. Lawns also represent a significant environmental and financial cost. A research project is currently being conducted by University of Auckland student Olivia Rooke-Devoy to address the costs and benefits of residential lawns in Auckland. This project aims to understand what plants are growing in Auckland lawns, how and why people maintain their lawns and whether we can create attractive, diverse meadows by mowing less. This will be achieved by surveying Auckland residential households and lawns throughout autumn and winter. An experimental meadow plot located at the Auckland Botanic Gardens will also be maintained throughout 2018. This research is supported by the Auckland Botanic Gardens and has kindly been funded by the Friends of the Auckland Botanic Gardens. The results from this project will provide a basis for understanding Auckland lawn biodiversity and the effects of lawn management. Ultimately, this research will provide future opportunities to enhance Auckland’s open greenspaces.