Excerpt from the article:
South Carolina journalist Doreen Cubie wrote about conservation efforts by Minnesota’s Red Lake Band of the Chippewa in the June/July issue. For more information about native plants, visit www.nwf.org/backyard.
. . . steps you can take to help reduce your backyard emissions. Here are some possibilities:
Shrink your lawn: Installing a rock garden, for example, will decrease the amount of turf in your yard, making your lawn easier to maintain. Another strategy is to incorporate islands of small native trees and shrubs into the lawn. You can also transform a section of your yard into a native wildflower meadow. By doing so, you’ll be creating habitat for wildlife—something a lawn doesn’t provide. . .
Use ground covers: Many yards have places where it is shady and difficult to grow grass, or where it is inconvenient or even dangerous to mow, such as a steep slope or incline. Native ground covers—low-growing native plants that seldom or never need to be cut—are good alternatives. Several varieties remain evergreen year-round in many areas of the country. . .
Use native grasses: Replacing the traditional lawn in your backyard or side yard with a native bunch grass, such as poverty oak grass, buffalo grass or junegrass, is another option. Bunch grasses grow in clumps, not an unbroken stand of green, so they are more informal looking. But they do not require pesticides or fertilizers to flourish and only need to be cut intermittently.