Streets and San and Native Plants

Alderman Ameya Pawar gives a much-deserved shout out to the Department of Streets and Sanitation’s new, pro-native-plant-garden policies in the most recent 47th Ward Newletter:

Every year more and more of our residents and businesses have been planting native plants in their parkways and yards. Native plants (for a description see our webpage) or plants that have evolved in our region are best able to survive drought, disease, pests and climatic conditions. Because are also best at keeping the ground permeable with their deeper root structures and absorbing water, they are nicknamed “rain gardens;” indeed they will be used as part of the Lawrence Streetscape to reduce stormwater flooding at the corners.

I am also happy to announce that the Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) is taking steps to ensure that property owners who have native gardens on the public way or on their property will not be ticketed for weed violations in the City code. While tickets have never been given to native plantings in the 47th Ward, there are some areas of the city where tickets have been issued erroneously and resulted in major fines to owners of native gardens. Please be aware that DSS will continue to ticket abandoned and uncared for properties, but native gardens that often look very different from traditional lawns and gardens are protected. Also, DSS will now require inspectors to attempt to make contact with property owners before issuing a ticket, and have given them training to identify these gardens. The City’s Law Department will be flagging weed cutting tickets for a second look to ensure no homeowners are ticketed incorrectly for their gardens.

A big thank you to Streets and Sanitation Commissioner, Charles Williams, and his team for taking these steps to help ensure that native gardens continue to thrive in our beautiful city. And, as always, thank you to Erick Norton, the 47th Ward Superintendent, and his team, for keeping our neighborhoods so beautiful.