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Environmental benefits of healthy green space

Presented by Garth Whyte
in Environment

Sponsored by Fertilizer Canada

(NC) Xeriscapes, wood chips, and synthetic turf are increasingly replacing lawns and gardens in many communities, but lawns are still an important part of our urban environment. While some may choose to replace them to eliminate maintenance or as a personal design preference, those who love their lawns have good reasons for keeping them, including many environmental benefits.

Healthy turf produces an amazing amount of oxygen. A 50-by-50-foot area of turf creates enough oxygen every day for a family of four. Turf grass also acts as a natural air purifier by trapping and removing pollutants from the atmosphere. Your lawn even serves as a filtration system, reducing run-off and erosion from heavy rains and recharging groundwater supplies.

Perhaps most important in a world with rising temperatures, a lawn has the same cooling power as three or four air conditioning units, without the energy costs, reducing the temperature around your home by 4°C to 8°C. On hot days, a lawn will be up to 39°C cooler than synthetic turf or hard surfaces.

Healthy green space makes a tremendous contribution to our environment and provides outdoor recreation space suitable for children, pets, and people of all ages. The key to realizing all of these benefits is to ensure green space is cared for sustainably. Read labels and follow directions when feeding plants and turf. Then kick back and enjoy the cool comfort of a soft place to rest or play, right in your own backyard.  MW

Partnering for conservation

We work with many organizations to reduce nutrient offloading in Canada’s lakes and watersheds and to deliver strategic communications on environmental conservation, including:

  • Kensington North Watersheds Association (Prince Edward Island)
  • Lake Friendly Initiative (Manitoba)
  • Grand River Conservation Authority (Ontario)
  • Conservation Ontario
  • Ducks Unlimited Canada
  • Soil Conservation Council of Canada
  • The Nature Conservancy

Municipal World Insider and Executive Members: You might also be interested in David Barrick’s article: Becoming a Green City. Note that you can now access the complete collection of past articles (and more) from your membership dashboard.


Garth Whyte is President and CEO of Fertilizer Canada, joining the association in June 2015. Garth brings decades of industry association, advocacy, and government experience. He is currently a member of the Fertilizer Canada Board and is on the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute Advisory Committee.

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