JMU’s Hillside Native Grass Project
Last year, James Madison University converted a sterile, unused lawn on a hillside separating the campus from the interstate into a native grass meadow in the interests, I presume, of wildlife habitat and student education. Now, a year later, they are already thinking of ripping it out and putting grass back in.
Was it a failed planting? No, the planting is thriving. If anything, it looks much better this year than last because native grasses spend their energy growing deep roots at first, so don’t look like much that first season (or longer). Administrators are just concerned that the planting doesn’t have a university look. Call me crazy, but if that was their concern, why didn’t they consider that before they planted?
[Full disclosure: my husband did the planting through the non-profit he works for, the Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage.]
The former District Conservationist of Augusta County Bobby Whitescarver post on this issue is worth checking out: