In the Eye of the Beholder: The Case of the Minnetonka Lawn Ordinance

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  • 1 Assistant Professor, Departmemt of Horticultural Science, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108.

In 1991, a suburban city in Minnesota found its lawn and nuisance weed ordinance the center of controversy as a citizen sought to develop a naturalized landscape that contrasted greatly with her neighbors' mowed lawns. This decision case study presents that situation as faced by the city policymakers and, when presented in a class setting, provides an opportunity to explore real options in a real issue of today. The case objectives are to prepare policymakers to deal with similar issues, and to broaden the outlook of students based in plant and environmental sciences to include the social factors of people-plant interactions. Group problem-solving skills also can be enhanced by this exercise. The abridged teaching note provides guidance for classroom and extension use.

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