University turfing out turf grass to create urban prairie - - The News for South Mississippi

University turfing out turf grass to create urban prairie

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - A Louisiana university is turfing out some turf grass to create wildflower-covered urban prairie. But first, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is letting the 10-acre (4-hectare) tract get long and shaggy.

Officials say that once the grass is at least 18 inches (46 centimeters) high, it will be sprayed with an environmentally safe herbicide and removed.

Then it can be planted with plains tickseed and clasping coneflower .

A news release says this is part of the school's sustainability plan to reduce mowing by 10 percent over the next three years.

A second area is being left unmowed to make room for native grasses.

A third project will also incorporate plants native to the Cajun prairie, including Indian grass, big bluestem and switch grass. It's tentatively scheduled for next year.

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