Saturday, June 25, 2011
School District 51 in Grand Junction recently announced that several
dozen teachers would be laid off due to budget cuts. Budget cuts
necessary because, basically our economy here is really awful. 11%
unemployment, a recession (Depression?) that doesn't seem to want
to end and just a general malaise in the economy. What amazes me
though, is that people still seem to have the money for things like
going to the movies, eating out...and watering the lawn? So, when
I drove by the High School today, I noticed that they had xeriscaped
the entire area surrounding the athletic track. The grass area in
the infield of the track is still grass, that can be used for soccer,
football, or any other event that requires grass. However, all of the
area on the outside of the track is now gravel. This makes a lot of
sense, because this area no longer needs water to keep it green and
attractive looking. This area was never used. Why did it need to be
grass-covered? It didn't, and somebody with District 51 was using
their noggin! Granted, it won't be a huge savings for the school
district short term, but it will save money long term, hopefully
enough to get some of those teaching jobs back. Also, think of
the impression it might make on some of those kids using the
area (as well as the adults). This is a desert. We average eight
inches of rain per year. We shouldn't be growing so much grass
in areas that don't need grass. Sure, athletic fields, parks, etc.
are good places to have grass, but if we smartly xeriscape in areas
that don't need grass, we can continue to grow it where it's
pleasant to have it...and in a way, maybe save some jobs and
provide a better education for the kids. This is really smart!
Whoever thought of this with District 51 should be commended!
Or at least given a good pat on the back!