(Example of neighbors getting together to adopt a resolution to ask local government to eliminate turfgrass from spaces that are not meant for foot traffic. And instead allow the region’s unique natural vegetation to be the default.)
Update Nov 2, 2023: My reading of the resolution at City Commission went well. I was particularly appreciative of Mayor Henry’s excellent question, which gave us such a nice opportunity to expand upon the aesthetic thing.
You can check out the video here. Scroll to the citizen comment section which is near the end, right after the official meeting ends. https://codb.civicweb.net/document/155216/?splitscreen=true&media=true
Update Nov 8, 2023:
Yesterday I read our “Greening the Beachside” resolution at County Council. The response was very positive! There was good commentary from commissioners at the end of the day regarding our proposal of replacing nonfunctional turfgrass with natural, beautiful dune vegetation that requires no irrigation or chemicals.
County council meeting yesterday — Tuesday, November 7
I spoke during Citizens Participation period #1, at the beginning of the day; and again during Citizens Participation period 2, at the end of the day.
In the first comment period, I read the resolution out loud. The first general comment period for citizens is right at the beginning of the meeting. I can’t remember, but I may have been the fourth speaker?￼
The second general comment period for citizens is late in the afternoon. It’s before commissioner comments that wrap up the day. ￼In the second comment period, I made some followup comments:
- Praising a couple of county public lands on the beachside that are great examples of dune vegetation. (Specifically, Andy Romano park; and the Kemp St pedestrian entrance to the beach.) ￼
- And, connecting our unnatural landscaping practices (excess mowing etc.) to the excess gasoline consumption that is driving demand for fuel tank facilities and other problematic stuff.
(Here is my Facebook post where I invited neighbors to participate in promoting the resolution):
Update: My reading of the resolution at City Commission went well. You can check out the video here. Scroll to the citizen comment section which is near the end, right after the official meeting ends￼￼. https://codb.civicweb.net/document/155216/?splitscreen=true&media=true
A resolution on greening the beachside!
At a recent meeting of Beachside Neighborhood Watch, members unanimously approved a motion to adopt a resolution that would eliminate the use of all non-functional turfgrass from city property and county property on the beachside.
Non-functional turfgrass is turfgrass that is not meant for foot traffic. Examples of non-functional turfgrass include median strips, and the edges of parking lots.
(Functional turfgrass is turfgrass that is meant for foot traffic. Examples include ballfields, event spaces, and dog parks.)
This change in our landscaping practices can be expected to save significant amounts of money and fuel, while reducing air pollution and noise pollution, and conserving water that is now being consumed to irrigate non-functional turfgrass.
Besides being beautiful, our low-maintenance beachside wildflowers, tall coastal grasses, and other natural dune vegetation are also drought-tolerant and require no chemical spraying to maintain.
This resolution will be a win for heat mitigation, stormwater absorption, resource saving, and unique regional beauty for tourists and residents alike.
I will be reading the BNW’s resolution aloud this evening, Wednesday, November 1, during citizens’ comment time at the Daytona Beach City Commission meeting. Other BNW members will be in attendance as well.
All are invited to attend. Whether or not you live on beachside, you are welcome to come and show your support. You can also tune in online via the city’s website.
These photos show examples of natural beachside vegetation that requires no irrigation, no chemicals, and no extreme maintenance practices.
(Here is the original text of the resolution which I read aloud to the City Commission and County Commission):
A resolution on greening the beachside
BNW requests that the city and the county discontinue the use of non-functional turfgrass on all their property on the beachside. Non-functional turfgrass is turfgrass that is not meant for foot traffic, for example, median strips and the edges of parking lots.
Nonfunctional turfgrass will die a natural death in the absence of chemicals and irrigation. Beach wildflowers would sprout up amidst the dead grass or tall coastal grasses and other native plants could be planted. The new growth should require no mowing, edging, irrigation, or chemicals.
BNW also requests that the city and county revisit landscaping requirements on commercial beachside properties. Too often required landscaping is more intrusive and less attractive than using native beachside plants that will thrive naturally.
These new styles of growth would conserve water, enhance the stormwater sponge, reduce pollution of our waterways, reduce noise pollution and fumes, and support beach wildlife. The more natural esthetic would showcase the authentic beauty of our beach environment for tourists and residents alike and it would save money, allowing resources to be redirected to urgent citywide heat-mitigation needs such as planting trees.
Our hope is the city’s and county’s example will motivate many private homeowners and business owners to reduce or eliminate turfgrass and use of non-native plants on their beachside properties.
By taking care of our beachside in this way, Daytona Beach and Volusia County would become a progressive actor in the nationwide movement to promote the distinctive natural vegetation of each region; we could help move the needle in a more beautiful and healthy direction.
These photos from my post on the BNW Facebook page show examples of natural beachside vegetation that requires no irrigation, no chemicals, and no extreme maintenance practices.