After a July that brought thirteen days during which temperatures reached over 90 degrees, combined with a measly 0.62″ of rainfall in the Boston area according to the National Weather Service, brown lawns in Natick are having a moment, and maybe even a proud one at that. After all, how better to virtue signal, “in our house we believe climate change is real,” than by taking the sprinkler system offline and letting nature take its course?
Lately as we drove around the various neighborhoods of Natick, manicured green lawns certainly were in evidence, but seemed to be in the minority. One reason could be that the town hasn’t made it effortless for homeowners to keep the grass green on either side of the fence.
Restrictions put into place last month mandated a two day/week watering schedule for both residents and businesses. Those occupying a building with an odd number street address must limit nonessential water use, including lawn and garden watering. to Monday and Thursday from the hours of 5pm on the select day until 9am the following day.
Residents and businesses occupying a building with an even number street address must limit nonessential water use, including lawn and garden watering, to Tuesday and Friday from the hours of 5pm on the select day until 9am the following day.
There is to be no non-essential outdoor water use on Wednesdays, Saturdays, or Sundays.
And don’t think about taking your bucket down to the South Natick Dam to scoop up some water to spread on your lawn. The pickings are mighty slim there.
Could the tide be turning against the perfect green lawn as the ultimate outdoor status symbol? It’s too early to call brown Natick lawns a trend, but the situation bears watching. It’s not too late to join in. Although the long-term forecast calls for more civilized temperatures in the 70s and 80s, and it looks like some rainclouds are on the horizon, summer is far from over. Your lawn can still transition to a beautiful brown expanse, a nonverbal embodiment of your feelings about water conservation.