Plant Native Wildflowers Instead of Non-Native Grass


Target: Rob Ford, Mayor of Toronto, Canada

Goal: Plant native wildflowers in place of non-native and high-maintenance grass throughout the city of Toronto

Across North America, grass is planted to fill yards, business properties, next to sidewalks, and along roadways. Standard varieties of grass are typically not native to the regions they are planted in, and they serve very little environmental benefit. On the contrary, there are many other species of beautiful native plants that would make local environments more sustainable.

Although much has already been done to bring more green space to Toronto, there are plenty of opportunities for improvement. Local municipalities should plant native wildflowers, such as the environmentally beneficial milkweed, in place of non-native grass. Wildflowers could be planted just as easily in front of office buildings, beside sidewalks, and next to roadways.

Wildflowers cost less than grass, and they are much more colorful and beautiful. Native wildflowers would also provide food and shelter for native animal species that are used to making homes in these plants. Wildflowers also require much less maintenance and upkeep cost compared to grass.

Many gardeners and naturalists in the Toronto area have already volunteered their time to help bring more natural beauty to the city. Some of the wildflower species native to this area includes asclepias incarnata, liastris, rudbeckia hirta, and echinacea.

Sign the below petition to urge Toronto’s city government to start planting wildflowers in green spaces instead of grass. Although a wildflower transformation project would take time to implement, Toronto could serve as respectable example to other North American cities.


Dear Mayor Ford,

Toronto is already a beautiful place to live, work, and play, but it could be made even more beautiful and environmentally beneficial. I am urging you to support the planting of native wildflowers instead non-native grass. Not only does grass cost more to maintain, but it provides only minimal environmental benefit to the area. You can help bring color and life back to the office buildings, neighborhoods, sidewalks, and roadways of Toronto.

Please allow Toronto to serve as a model city for other cities of the world to envy and emulate. Work with local gardening and environmental groups to choose the specific types of wildflowers and planting locations throughout the city. There are many local groups that would love to contribute their time and fundraising efforts to this beautifying and sustainable cause.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: faria! via Flickr

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