Letters to the Editor: Let your lawn die, but don’t plant natives just yet
I write on behalf of the residents from the town of Westport, Conn. We currently have a town ordinance which would forbid the use of all native plants on our town property including all our yards. Because of this we have to either plant one orchard or two native shrubs at least every year or else the town would be on the hook for back property taxes! Since we have to replant at least 2 plants to continue to provide for our own health and community enjoyment, we are forced into the position of either paying for replanting or buying a few seedlings here and there from nurseries on the internet. But when you look at plant propagation in its entirety, it becomes clear that native plants have the potential to be a very valuable resource for our towns if they receive proper protection from the local officials.
I believe that at a minimum a few rules should be put in place regarding the use of native plants on town property. First, the town would have the right to approve and prohibit uses on town property. It is our responsibility as a town to protect our children and property from being damaged or destroyed. We are taking care of our community and have the responsibility to be mindful of its needs and preserve. Secondly, the Town should restrict the number of native plant species allowed on town property. With the large number of different shrubs that grow natively in our area, they are sure to create a great deal of chaos in the yard. In the end, I know that people appreciate something that looks at least somewhat attractive in the front of their yard and makes it a little more appealing to walk past and consider for purchase.
But if they continue to grow and invade the yard of every resident, they will soon have the ability to create a much larger mess and will be immediately deemed to be a nuisances to the community as a whole. Many residents have told me that they plan on keeping native plants because they make the yard look a little better and because they are so beautiful. But that is